When UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna went to sleep last night, she didn’t give serious thought to her chance of winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Then, a phone call woke her up today, just before 3 a.m. It was a reporter, asking for a comment about winning the prize. Doudna said her initial response was, “Who won?”
“I don’t know what to say, I’m so honored. It really was a curiosity-driven project from the beginning,” Doudna said this morning from her Berkeley home of her co-development with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier of CRISPR-Cas9, a gene-editing breakthrough that has revolutionized biomedicine. “… I’m humbled by it. For little old me to win the prize, it’s just astonishing.”
Doudna is the first woman on the Berkeley faculty to win a Nobel Prize. She and Charpentier also became the first women in history to win a Nobel in the sciences together.
Doudna’s waking moments after winning the Nobel, and the day that would follow, were captured by Berkeley News. Watch the video above!