Annual Lecture in Structural Biology by Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna will give the lecture entitled ‘A Structural View of CRISPR and Genome Editing’ on Thursday 22th August 2019 at 4.00pm in the Biomedicum Lecture Theatre.

The annual lecture series is set up in the recognition of Fritiof Sjöstrand’s contribution to the development of electron microscopy and will be delivered by eminent scientists in the field. The event is organised by SciLifeLab and ThermoFisher Scientific. It is open to anyone. A holder of the lectureship will particularly spend time with students and postdocs. Therefore, Jennifer will also give an account of her career path and discuss with students and postdocs at 09.30am in the SciLifeLab Air&Fire auditorium.


About Jennifer Doudna

Research in Doudna’s laboratory is aimed at elucidating the mechanisms underlying CRISPR–Cas immunity and translational control. Her lab determined the crystal structure of the viral RNA – the hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a human pathogen linked to hepatitis B. More recently, she has been focusing on re-engineering CRISPR-Cas9 to provide a tool for editing genes. This work has been serving the academic community for multiple research applications, including in human cells.

While Jennifer has been receiving prestigious awards, she frequently comments that much of it was down to having good mentors early on in her career and having had the freedom to build up her laboratory team with people whom she shares a personal chemistry with and the same scientific vision and drive. A key essence for her is to have laboratory with a supportive environment where people work together as a team and older members are prepared to mentor those who are younger.


Background information

The annual lecture in structural biology is named in honour of Fritiof Sjöstrand, who pioneered the electron microscopy in Sweden in the 1950’s.

Fritiof Sjöstrand was born in Stockholm in 1912. He studied medicine in Karolisnka Institutet, and became engaged in research on biological applications of electron microscopy. In 1943 he recorded skeletal muscle fibres for the first time. In the early 1950’s Fritiof developed an advanced microtome for thin sectioning and by applying it for structural analysis of mitochondria produced a major breakthrough with the determination of the double membrane system. He then engineered a next generation of microtomes using electrical heating of the specimen to advance it toward the knife. This instrument became known as the ‘‘Sjöstrand Ultramicrotome”, and about 500 units were sold worldwide. In 1959 he moved to UCLA, where his research focused on mitochondrial membranes and retinal synapses. Fritiof Sjöstrand founded and was Editor in Chief of the Journal of Structural Biology for 33 years.



Alexey Amunts,