Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna to Receive Top Award from the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation

The 2021 Alma Dea Morani Award will be presented October 28, in partnership with The New York Academy of Medicine, with remarks by Dr. Doudna on “CRISPR: Rewriting DNA and the Future of Humanity” and special introduction by Dr. Mary-Claire King.

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

New York, NY, Oct. 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, who earned the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her groundbreaking development of genome-engineering technology, is the 2021 recipient of the Alma Dea Morani Renaissance Woman Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation. The Foundation and The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) will partner to host the virtual award presentation and remarks from Dr. Doudna on “CRISPR: Rewriting DNA and the Future of Humanity” on Thursday, October 28 at 4pm ET. RSVP here.

“The New York Academy of Medicine is proud to partner with the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation to honor Dr. Jennifer Doudna for her groundbreaking contributions to science and medicine through genome engineering, which has already shown enormous potential to improve disease treatment and health worldwide,” said Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS, NYAM President. “Through this partnership, we also celebrate and build upon the historical contributions of generations of women in medicine.”

“I’m grateful to the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation for presenting me with the Alma Dea Morani Award,” said Dr. Doudna. “The Foundation is so important in that they are preserving the legacy of women in medicine and the medical sciences, which in turn allows young women to be inspired by their successes. If I could give a piece of advice to young women right now, it’s to pursue your interests and know that you matter and deserve a seat at the table.” 

“There could not have been a better or a more timely award selection this year than that of Jennifer Doudna for our Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation honoree,” said Julia Haller, MD, President of the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation and Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Wills Eye Hospital. “Not only was her career crowned with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this past fall, but the truth of the matter is that her successes are continuing to escalate in real time, before our very eyes. The impact of Dr. Doudna’s CRISPR inventions on advancing medical innovation and treating disease is seen around the world on a daily basis, and will continue to resonate for generations to come.”

“We were particularly impressed that while Jennifer Doudna was being recognized for her accomplishments within the gene editing sphere, she recognized and has continued to place significant importance on the need for responsible use of this groundbreaking technology,” said Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP, Chair of the Alma Dea Morani Award Selection Committee and Senior Scholar-in-Residence at NYAM. “Dr. Doudna, and the remarks she’ll give during her award acceptance, ‘CRISPR: Rewriting DNA and the Future of Humanity,’ is the essence of what encompasses the Alma Dea Morani Award.”

A biochemist, Dr. Doudna is founder and president of the Innovative Genomics Institute, a research group at UC Berkeley and UCSF dedicated to using genome engineering to treat human diseases and end hunger. Working with collaborator and co-Nobelist Emmanuelle Charpentier, Dr. Doudna developed CRISPR-Cas9, technology that allows scientists to change the DNA of plants, animals and humans with unprecedented precision. Tailoring the code of life using CRISPR’s molecular scissors is already revolutionizing the treatment of diseases previously believed to be incurable. At the event, Dr. Doudna will discuss research into this amazing family of proteins: where they came from, how they work, and how CRISPR-based technologies can be responsibly used to revolutionize research, biomedicine and agriculture.

Dr. Doudna will be introduced by the 2015 Alma Dea Morani Renaissance Woman Award recipient, Mary-Claire King, PhD, who was the first to show that breast cancer is inherited in some families as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1.

About the Award
The Alma Dea Morani, MD Renaissance Woman Award recognizes an outstanding contemporary pioneer in the medical sciences. It was named for Alma Dea Morani, MD, the first woman admitted to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and an advocate for humanism in medicine. Recipients demonstrate professional excellence, a thirst for knowledge, and service beyond their medical practice or scientific endeavors. Learn more about the award.

About the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation
The Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation was founded with the strong belief that understanding our history plays a powerful role in shaping our future. The resolute stand women took to establish their place in these fields propels our vision forward. We serve as stewards to the stories from the past and take pride in sharing them with the women of today. Our mission is to preserve and promote the history of women in medicine and the medical sciences, and we look forward to connecting you to our collective legacy that will empower our future. Learn more at

About The New York Academy of Medicine 
The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) tackles the barriers that prevent every individual from living a healthy life. NYAM generates the knowledge needed to change the systems that prevent people from accessing what they need to be healthy such as safe and affordable housing, healthy food, healthcare, and more. Through its high-profile programming for the general public, focused symposia for health professionals, and its base of dedicated Fellows and Members, NYAM engages the minds and hearts of those who also value advancing health equity to maximize health for all. For more information, visit and follow @nyamnyc on social media.