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Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020
|Year of election:||2015|
|Section:||Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine|
Main Research Interests: Molecular infection biology; molecular mechanisms governing physiology and infection-associated processes in Gram-positive bacterial pathogens; research on CRISPR-Cas, the adaptive immune system that protects bacteria against invading genetic elements; small regulatory RNAs that interfere with bacterial pathogenicity; protein quality-control that regulates bacterial adaptation, physiology and virulence; mechanisms of bacterial recognition by immune cells; "genome editing"
Emmanuelle Charpentier is a French microbiologist and biochemist. She is an expert in regulatory mechanisms underlying processes of infection and immunity in bacterial pathogens. With her recent groundbreaking findings in the field of RNA-mediated regulation based on the CRISPR-Cas9 system, Emmanuelle Charpentier has laid the foundation for the development of a novel, highly versatile and specific genome editing technology that is revolutionizing life sciences research and could open up whole new opportunities in biomedical gene therapies.
Emmanuelle Charpentier investigates fundamental mechanisms of regulation in processes of infection and immunity with a focus on Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. She is interested in understanding how RNAs and proteins coordinate to modulate gene expression at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational level. Her research group studies regulatory RNAs and proteins in various biological pathways such as horizontal gene transfer, adaptation to stress, physiology, persistence, virulence, infection and immunity. In particular, they do research on interference systems in the defense against genetic elements (CRISPR-Cas), small regulatory RNAs that interfere with pathogenic processes, protein quality control that regulates bacterial adaptation, physiology and virulence, and the mechanisms of bacterial recognition by immune cells.
The laboratory of Emmanuelle Charpentier employs a combination of -omics, genetic, molecular, biochemical, physiological and cell infection approaches to identify new molecules and decipher their origins, functions and modes of action at the molecular and cellular level. A pathogen mostly studied in the laboratory is Streptococcus pyogenes also called Group A streptococcus that can cause highly aggressive invasive infections such as toxic shock and necrotizing diseases. In the past years, they have also investigated the genetics and biology of Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
The understanding of fundamental mechanisms of regulation in pathogens is critical to generate new findings in basic science and possibly translate them into novel biotechnological and biomedical applications (e.g. genome editing tools, anti-infective strategies). A successful example of the application of the basic research in biotechnology and medicine is the recent discovery by Emmanuelle Charpentier and her group of an RNA-guided DNA cleavage mechanism that has been harnessed as an RNA programmable genome engineering technology and that stems from their analysis of the adaptive immune CRISPR-Cas9 system in bacterial pathogens.
Additional affiliations: Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung in Braunschweig and The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Umeå University, Sweden.
06108 Halle (Saale)
|Phone||0345 - 47 239 - 122|
|Fax||0345 - 47 239 - 139|