Thursday, December 18th 2014
Biochemist Jennifer Doudna and chemical engineer Jay Keasling were among 170 new fellows recognized for outstanding contributions to innovation in patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation. Doudna, PBD faculty biochemist and professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, co-invented a precision DNA editing technique that has revolutionized genetic research and gene therapy. Called CRISPR/Cas9, it is already the basis of several startups, including Caribou Biosciences Inc., co-founded by Doudna. Keasling, a pioneer in synthetic biology, is associate laboratory director for Biosciences and CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville. His inventions resulted in engineered microbes to produce the world’s first low-cost antimalarial drug. He has co-founded 4 companies, including Amyris Biotechnologies, the company that optimized the modified biosynthetic process for producing artemisinic acid, the basis for the drug.