Faculty biochemist Jennifer Doudna and Biosciences Area Associate Laboratory Director Jay Keasling attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, to bring their unique perspectives to world leaders. The theme of this year’s meeting was the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and attendees convened to learn how new technologies and approaches are merging the physical, digital, and biological worlds in ways that will fundamentally transform humankind. Both researchers were named to Al Aribya’s “45 top scientists at Davos you should know about” list: Doudna for the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system that she co-invented with Emmanuelle Charpentier, and Keasling for pioneering the use of bioengineering to create microbial systems for the production of anti-malaria drugs and advanced biofuels.
While in Davos, Doudna joined Joseph Biden (below, left) as the vice president promoted a major new U.S. initiative to speed the discovery of cures for cancer, what President Obama dubbed a “cancer moonshot,” in his recent State of the Union address. Doudna participated in two other Davos fora, Life in 2030: Humankind and the Machine and Staying Human, that can be viewed online.