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Emmanuelle Charpentier  

French Professor & Researcher in Microbiology, Genetics and Biochemistry, Founding and Acting Director of Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens

Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier is a French professor and researcher in microbiology, genetics and biochemistry. Since 2015, she has been a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology.

Charpentier is best known for her role in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 immune system and repurposing it into a tool for genome editing. In particular, she uncovered a novel mechanism for the maturation of a non-coding RNA which is pivotal in the function of CRISPR/Cas9. In collaboration with Jennifer Doudna's laboratory, Charpentier's laboratory showed that Cas9 could be used to make cuts in any DNA sequence desired. The method they developed involved the combination of Cas9 with easily created synthetic "guide RNA" molecules. Researchers worldwide have employed this method successfully to edit the DNA sequences of plants, animals, and laboratory cell lines.

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