Jennifer A. Doudna

Jennifer Doudna

Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Professor in Biomedical and Health

Energy Biosciences Building, 512G
2151 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Voice (510) 643-0113
Fax (510) 643-0080

The Doudna Lab
Doudna Lab Publications

CRISPR in the news

Research Interests

Chemical Biology

Ribozymes and RNA Machines: RNA forms a variety of complex globular structures, some of which function like enzymes or form functional complexes with proteins. There are three major areas of focus in the lab: catalytic RNA, the function of RNA in the signal recognition particle and the mechanism of RNA-mediated internal initiation of protein synthesis. We are interested in understanding and comparing catalytic strategies used by RNA to those of protein enzymes, focusing on self-splicing introns and the self-cleaving RNA from hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a human pathogen. We are also investigating RNA-mediated initiation of protein synthesis, focusing on the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) RNA from Hepatitis C virus. Cryo-EM, x-ray crystallography and biochemical experiments are focused on understanding the structure and mechanism of the IRES and its amazing ability to hijack the mammalian ribosome and associated translation factors. A third area of focus in the lab is the signal recognition particle, which contains a highly conserved RNA required for targeting proteins for export out of cells. Each of these projects seeks to understand the molecular basis for RNA function, using a combination of structural, biophysical and biochemical approaches.


  • Medical School, 1989-1991
  • Post-doctoral fellow, University of Colorado, 1991-1994
  • Assistant/Associate professor at Yale University (1994-1998)
  • Professor at Yale University (1999-2001)
  • Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, UC Berkeley, (2002-)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Investigator 1997 to present
  • Packard Foundation Fellow Award, 1996
  • NSF Alan T. Waterman Award, 2000
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2002
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow Award, 2008
  • Member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2010