Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Charpentier, Emmanuelle M.
Location Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
Primary Field Microbial Biology
Secondary Field Biochemistry
 Election Citation
Charpentier made the key discoveries defining the Streptococcus pyogenes CRISPR/Cas9 system, then collaborated with Jennifer Doudna to perform and publish experiments that supported the theory and demonstrated the feasibility of using the CRISPR/Cas9 system for precisely modifying the genome of any cell in any organism on earth.
 Research Interests
Emmanuelle Charpentier's laboratory is interested in understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating physiology, virulence and infection in Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. Her laboratory investigates how RNAs and proteins coordinate to modulate gene expression at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational level. They study regulatory RNAs and proteins in various biological pathways such as horizontal gene transfer, adaptation to stress, physiology, persistence, virulence, infection and immunity. In particular, her laboratory researches on DNA- and RNA-mediated interference systems in the defence against genetic elements (CRISPR-Cas), small regulatory RNAs that have roles in pathogenic processes, protein quality control that regulates bacterial adaptation, physiology and virulence, and the mechanisms of bacterial recognition by immune cells. A greater understanding of the 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 Charpentier basic research in biotechnology and medicine is her recent discovery of an RNA-guided DNA cleavage mechanism that has been harnessed as an RNA programmable genome engineering technology and that stems from her analysis of the adaptive immune CRISPR-Cas9 system in bacterial pathogens.

 
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