Emmanuelle Charpentier

Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier (born 11 December 1968) is a French professor and researcher in microbiology, genetics and biochemistry.[1] Since 2015, she has been a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany. In 2018, she founded an independent research institute, the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens.[3]

Emmanuelle Charpentier
Emmanuelle Charpentier, August 2015
Born (1968-12-11) 11 December 1968
Alma materPierre and Marie Curie University (today the Faculty of Science of Sorbonne University)
Pasteur Institute
Known forCRISPR[1]
AwardsLouis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2015)[2]
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Vienna
Umeå University
Max Planck Society


Born in 1968 in Juvisy-sur-Orge in France, Charpentier studied biochemistry, microbiology and genetics at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (today the Faculty of Science of Sorbonne University) in Paris.[4] She was a graduate student at the Institut Pasteur from 1992 to 1995, and was awarded a research doctorate.

Career and research

Charpentier worked as a university teaching assistant at Curie from 1993 to 1995 and as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut Pasteur from 1995 to 1996. She moved to the US and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University in New York from 1996 to 1997. She worked as an assistant research scientist at the New York University Medical Center from 1997 to 1999 and held the position of Research Associate at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine in New York from 1999 to 2002.[4]

After five years in the United States, she returned to Europe and became lab head and a guest professor at the Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, University of Vienna from 2002 to 2004. From 2004 to 2006 she was lab head and an assistant professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology. In 2006 she became private docent (Microbiology) and received her habilitation at the Centre of Molecular Biology. From 2006 to 2009 she worked as lab head and Associate Professor at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories.[4]

Charpentier moved to Sweden and became lab head and associate professor at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), at Umeå University. She held these positions from 2009 till 2014, and was promoted to lab head as Visiting Professor in 2014. She moved to Germany to act as department head and W3 Professor at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig and the Hannover Medical School from 2013 until 2015. In 2014 she became an Alexander von Humboldt Professor.[4]

In 2015 Charpentier accepted an offer from the German Max Planck Society to become a scientific member of the society and a director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin.[4] Since 2016, Emmanuelle is a Honorary Professor at Humboldt University in Berlin,[4] and since 2018, she is the Founding and Acting Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens.[5] Charpentier retained her position as Visiting Professor at Umeå University until the end of 2017, where a new donation from the Kempe Foundations and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has given her the opportunity to offer more young researchers positions within research groups of the MIMS Laboratory.[6]


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.[7] In collaboration with Jennifer Doudna's laboratory, Charpentier's laboratory showed that Cas9 could be used to make cuts in any DNA sequence desired.[8][9] 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.


Charpentier has been awarded numerous international prizes, awards and acknowledgements, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine, the Gruber Foundation International Prize in Genetics, the Leibniz Prize, Germany's most prestigious research prize, the Japan Prize, and the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. She has won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award jointly with Jennifer Doudna and Francisco M. Mojica, whose pioneering work has ignited “the revolution in biology permitted by CRISPR/Cas 9 techniques.” These tools facilitate genome modification with an unprecedented degree of precision, and far more cheaply and straightforwardly than any previous method. Not unlike today's simple, intuitive word processing programs, CRISPR/Cas 9 is able to “edit” the genome by “cutting and pasting” DNA sequences: a technology so efficient and powerful that it has spread like wildfire round the laboratories of the world, explains the jury, “as a tool to understand gene function and treat disease.” Also, in the spring of 2015, Time Magazine designated Charpentier one of the 100 most influential people in the world (together with Jennifer Doudna).[10]

Memberships in science academies include the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina,[11] the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Academy of Sciences,[12] the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences[13] and The United States National Academy of Sciences.[14] In addition, Charpentier has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), New York University (US), the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (Switzerland), Umeå University (Sweden), Western University of London, Ontario (Canada) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Awards and honours (selection)


  1. Abbott, Alison (2016). "The quiet revolutionary: How the co-discovery of CRISPR explosively changed Emmanuelle Charpentier's life". Nature. 532 (7600): 432–434. Bibcode:2016Natur.532..432A. doi:10.1038/532432a. PMID 27121823.
  2. "Emmanuelle CHARPENTIER, Winner of the 2015 Louis-Jeantet Prize for medicine". October 1, 2017.
  3. "CRISPR discoverer gets own research institute". 19 April 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  4. "Charpentier, Emmanuelle - Vita". Max Planck Society. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  5. CRISPR discoverer get own research institute Retrieved 4 September 2018
  6. "Emmanuelle Charpentier - Regulation in Infection Biology - Funding". Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  7. Deltcheva E, Chylinski K, Sharma CM, Gonzales K, Chao Y, Pirzada ZA, Eckert MR, Vogel J, Charpentier E (2011). "CRISPR RNA maturation by trans-encoded small RNA and host factor RNase III". Nature. 471 (7340): 602–607. Bibcode:2011Natur.471..602D. doi:10.1038/nature09886. PMC 3070239. PMID 21455174.
  8. "CRISPR Therapeutics, About us". Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  9. Jinek, M.; Chylinski, K.; Fonfara, I.; Hauer, M.; Doudna, J. A.; Charpentier, E. (2012-06-28). "A Programmable Dual-RNA–Guided DNA Endonuclease in Adaptive Bacterial Immunity". Science. 337 (6096): 816–821. Bibcode:2012Sci...337..816J. doi:10.1126/science.1225829. PMC 6286148. PMID 22745249.
  10. "Emmanuelle Charpentier named in Time magazine's '100 most influential people in world' list". Umeå University. 2015-04-13. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  11. "List of Members". www.leopoldina.org. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  12. "ÖAW wählte 26 neue Mitglieder". Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  13. "Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien". www.kva.se. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. "National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates Elected". National Academy of Sciences. National Academy of Sciences. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  15. "Eric K. Fernström's Prize to Emmanuelle Charpentier". Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden. 2011-06-09. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  16. "Alexander von Humboldt sponsorship". Humboldt Foundation. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  17. "Göran Gustafsson Prize for Emmanuelle Charpentier". Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  18. "MIMS group leader Emmanuelle Charpentier receives Dr. Paul Janssen Award for discoveries of CRISPR-Cas9". Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  19. "Emmanuelle Charpentier receives Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award". Umeå University. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  20. Mary-Claire King. "Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer Doudna". TIME. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  21. "Umeå University, press release: Emmanuelle Charpentier honored with Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences". Umeå University. 2014-11-10. Retrieved 15 June 2015. (shared with Jennifer Doudna)
  22. "The 11th ISTT Prize jointly awarded to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier". Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  23. "Foundation Louis-Jeanet: "The 2015 Louis-Jeantet Prize-Winners"". Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  24. "Laureates 2015 – Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier". Jung-Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Forschung. May 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  25. The Hansen Family Award
  26. "YaleNews: Gruber Foundation honors excellence in neuroscience, cosmology, and genetics". Yale University. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  27. "Umeå University EC Jubilee Award 2015". Umeå University. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  28. "Emmanuelle Charpentier receives Carus Medal". Helmholtz Centre for Infection research. 2015-09-07. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  29. "Massry winners helped launch gene editing revolution". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  30. "Three new members elected to the Academy". The Royal Swedish Academy of Science. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  31. "MIMS - Curriculum Vitae Emmanuelle Charpentier". www.mims.umu.se. Archived from the original on 1 November 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  32. "France celebrates Emmanuelle Charpentier during the L'Oreal-UNESCO week in Paris". mims.umu.se. Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden. March 24, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  33. "Leibniz Prizes 2016: DFG Honours Ten Researchers". Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  34. "Canada Gairdner International Award". Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  35. "Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize 2016".
  36. 良艮創意,很好設計,李維宗設計. "Tang Prize - Laureates". www.tang-prize.org. Retrieved 12 January 2018.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  37. "The 2016 HFSP Nakasone Award goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer Doudna". Human Frontier Science Programme. Archived from the original on 27 September 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  38. "Wilhelm-Exner-Medaille". www.wilhelmexner.org. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  39. Dix-huit nouveaux membres élus à l'Académie des sciences. Press release issued 6 December 2017, retrieved on 28 February 2018.
  40. HKUST Holds 25th Congregation Conferring Honorary Doctorates on Four Distinguished Academics and Community Leaders, retrieved 20 November 2017
  41. "The Japan Prize Foundation". www.japanprize.jp. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  42. "Gene Editing Pioneers Receive Americas Most Distinguished Prize in Medicine". www.amc.edu. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  43. "Doctor honoris causa and ISV 20th anniversary". Archived from the original on 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  44. "Science of Star Creation, Neuroscience of Hearing and Tool to Edit DNA Win Kavli Prizes" (PDF).
  45. La AECC adjudica, en 2018, 160 ayudas para investigar el cáncer por un total de 17,6M€, retrieved 26 September 2018
  46. Five selected to receive our prestigious Medal of Honor award, retrieved 14 December 2018
  47. "Bijvoet Medal". Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research. Archived from the original on 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  48. Harvey Prize 2018
  49. "2019 års Scheelepris till Emmanuelle Charpentier". February 1, 2019.
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