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2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson

Reporter: Aviva Lev- Ari, PhD, RN

UPDATED on 10/16/2020

The Nobel Prize for economic sciences this year went to Paul MIlgrom and Robert Wilson. Milgrom is recognized as one of the world’s great experts in auction theory, and I interviewed him for my book In the Plex (finally out in paper next February!) about Google’s clever AdWords approach to bidding, which was crafted by Google engineer Eric Veach along with his boss Salar Kamangar. I’d asked Milgrom to compare the AdWords system to the competitor, Overture:

One fan of Veach’s system was the top auction theorist, Stanford economist Paul Milgrom. “Overture’s auctions were much less successful,” says Milgrom. “In that world, you bid by the slot. If you wanted to be in third position, you put in a bid for third. If there’s an obvious guy to win the first position, nobody would bid against him, and he’d get it cheap. If you wanted to be in every position, you had to make bids for each of them. But Google simplified the auction. Instead of making eight bids for the eight positions, you made one single bid. The competition for second position will automatically raise the price for the first position. So the simplification thickens the market. The effect is that it guarantees that there’s competition for the top positions.”

Veach and Kamangar’s implementation was so impressive that it changed even Milgrom’s way of thinking. “Once I saw this from Google, I began seeing it everywhere,” he says, citing examples in spectrum auctions, diamond markets, and the competition between Kenyan and Rwandan coffee beans. “I’ve begun to realize that Google somehow or other introduced a level of simplification to ad auctions that was not included before.” And it wasn’t just a theoretical advance. “Google immediately started getting higher prices for advertising than Overture was getting,” he notes.

SOURCE

From: WIRED’s Steven Levy <wired@newsletters.wired.com>

Date: Friday, October 16, 2020 at 8:00 AM

To: “Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN” <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Clarence Thomas wants to rethink internet speech. Be afraid

 

 

Paul Milgrom (left) and Robert Wilson share the 2020 Nobel prize in economic sciences for improvements to auction theory and invention of new auction formats.

Image Credit: Elena Zhukova for the Stanford Graduate School of Business

 

 

UPDATED on 10/13/2020

The 2020 Nobel prize in economic sciences rewards work on an ancient form of transaction that has acquired new complexity and urgency in the modern age: the auction.

Insights in auction theory made by Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, both of Stanford University in California, have found applications ranging from the pricing of government bonds to the licensing of radio-spectrum bands in telecommunications.

Diane Coyle of the University of Cambridge, UK, says that the Nobel, announced on 12 October, will be widely welcomed. “These two not only did foundational work themselves”, she says, “but also inspired cohorts of younger researchers.”

Economist Preston McAfee of Google agrees. “I, and thousands like me, use the fruits of their work on a daily basis to make markets work better — to improve pricing, to manage incentives, to facilitate decision-making, to increase efficiency.”

Their research has intersected with computer science and communications engineering to lay the foundations for many online platforms, Coyle adds.

Economist John Kagel of Ohio State University in Columbus, USA, called it “an outstanding selection”.

Online platforms such as eBay have raised public awareness of some of the complexities of auctions. There are many ways to stage them: for example, in a so-called “English auction” the item on offer simply goes to the highest bidder; whereas in a “Dutch auction” the selling starts from a high price, and bidders submit the price they are willing to pay.

But bidding is affected by many more factors that might reduce the seller’s final profit, cause losses for the winning bidder, create inefficiencies of allocation, or harm the public good. The work of the two laureates has helped to reduce these problems and to suggest new, more efficient ways for auctions to be conducted.

One problem is that different bidders can have different degrees of knowledge about an item for sale. For example, in a property auction, all bidders for a property will have access to some public information such as its resale value. But other kinds of information — such as hidden structural damage — will be private and not known to everyone.

A bidder who does not have such information might end up overpaying if they want to buy the property. They might be able to infer what others know about the value if bids are public – and people start to drop out – but not if bids are private.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, Wilson showed what happens to prices and profits in auctions when bidders have different degrees of private information.

Furthermore, if information about a property is highly uncertain — if the nature of the neighbourhood is rapidly changing, say — that could make buyers cautious and reduce the seller’s profit. In the 1980s, Milgrom — a former doctoral student of Wilson’s — developed models (partly in conjunction with Robert Weber of Northwestern University) that showed there is then an incentive for sellers to gather and share expert information with bidders, within different auction formats. The predictions of how such public information helps prevent losses to sellers and increases their revenue have been born out by experiments, says Kagel.

A spectrum of options

Auctions can be more complex when the goods for sale are divisible into parts or batches — for example, when governments sell licenses to companies bidding to operate in energy, telecommunications or transportation markets. One issue for such auctions is that sellers are vulnerable to collusion between buyers to keep the buying price down. Wilson’s work in the 1970s helped to identify these problems and to design new auctions to avoid them, for example in markets for electricity provision.

The sales of items might also be interdependent. A classic example in the 1990s was the sale of radio-frequency bands to telecom companies for mobile-phone networks — which many countries decided was best done through auctions.

If rights to frequency bands were simply auctioned region by region, a national telecoms company couldn’t be sure of acquiring the same frequency everywhere. And the value to them for one region would depend on whether they could buy the same frequency band elsewhere. The resulting patchwork of coverage would be inconvenient for users too.

To tackle such problems, Milgrom and Wilson (and independently, McAfee) devised the simultaneous multiple-round auction (SMRA). Here, bidders can place bids over several rounds of bidding. This gives them a chance to glean something about others’ private information while bidding, creating fairer and more efficient outcomes.

This approach was used in 1994 for auctioning telecom licenses in the United States, and has been adopted in Canada, India, and several European and Scandinavian countries. Milgrom has also devised other formats that ease some of the shortcomings of the SMRA.

“Unlike many theoreticians, Wilson and Milgrom brought their work to the real world, and transformed government policies toward auctions around the world,” says McAfee.

“There was no question that these two would win the Nobel prize at some point,” says economist Paul Klemperer of the University of Oxford. “It could have happened at any time in the past 20 years.”

“One could even imagine Paul Milgrom having a second Nobel prize,” he adds, for his work in information economics and industrial organization. Milgrom has given a Nobel acceptance speech before: in 1996, as a stand-in for William Vickery, who died three days after the announcement of his prize for laying the foundations of auction theory in the 1960s.

SOURCE

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02904-2?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=6b3b78efc9-briefing-dy-20201013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-6b3b78efc9-43323101

 

Prize announcement. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2020. Mon. 12 Oct 2020

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/2020/prize-announcement/

 

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020

Paul R. Milgrom

© Nobel Media. Ill. Niklas Elmehed.

Paul R. Milgrom

Prize share: 1/2

Robert B. Wilson

© Nobel Media. Ill. Niklas Elmehed.

Robert B. Wilson

Prize share: 1/2

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020 was awarded jointly to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

Prize announcement

Announcement of the 2020 Prize in Economic Sciences by Professor Göran K. Hansson, Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on 12 October 2020.

“This prize is about avoiding the winner’s curse”

Immediately after the announcement, Tommy Andersson, member of the committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences, was interviewed by freelance journalist Joanna Rose regarding the 2020 Prize in Economic Sciences.

Press release: The Prize in Economic Sciences 2020

English
English (pdf)
Swedish
Swedish (pdf)

Logo

12 October 2020

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020 to

Paul R. Milgrom
Stanford University, USA

Robert B. Wilson
Stanford University, USA

“for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”

 

Their theoretical discoveries have improved auctions in practice

This year’s Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. Their discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world.

People have always sold things to the highest bidder, or bought them from whoever makes the cheapest offer. Nowadays, objects worth astronomical sums of money change hands every day in auctions, not only household objects, art and antiquities, but also securities, minerals and energy. Public procurements can also be conducted as auctions.

Using auction theory, researchers try to understand the outcomes of different rules for bidding and final prices, the auction format. The analysis is difficult, because bidders behave strategically, based on the available information. They take into consideration both what they know themselves and what they believe other bidders to know.

Robert Wilson developed the theory for auctions of objects with a common value – a value which is uncertain beforehand but, in the end, is the same for everyone. Examples include the future value of radio frequencies or the volume of minerals in a particular area. Wilson showed why rational bidders tend to place bids below their own best estimate of the common value: they are worried about the winner’s curse – that is, about paying too much and losing out.

Paul Milgrom formulated a more general theory of auctions that not only allows common values, but also private values that vary from bidder to bidder. He analysed the bidding strategies in a number of well-known auction formats, demonstrating that a format will give the seller higher expected revenue when bidders learn more about each other’s estimated values during bidding.

Over time, societies have allocated ever more complex objects among users, such as landing slots and radio frequencies. In response, Milgrom and Wilson invented new formats for auctioning off many interrelated objects simultaneously, on behalf of a seller motivated by broad societal benefit rather than maximal revenue. In 1994, the US authorities first used one of their auction formats to sell radio frequencies to telecom operators. Since then, many other countries have followed suit.

“This year’s Laureates in Economic Sciences started out with fundamental theory and later used their results in practical applications, which have spread globally. Their discoveries are of great benefit to society,” says Peter Fredriksson, chair of the Prize Committee.

Illustrations

The illustrations are free to use for non-commercial purposes. Attribute ”© Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences”

Illustration: Auctions (pdf)
Illustration: Winner’s curse (pdf)
Illustration: Auction frequencies (pdf)

Read more about this year’s prize

Popular science background: The quest for the perfect auction
Scientific Background: Improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats

 

Paul R. Milgrom, born 1948 in Detroit, USA.
Ph.D. 1979 from Stanford University, Stanford, USA. Shirley and Leonard Ely Jr. Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University, USA.

Robert B. Wilson, born 1937 in Geneva, USA.
D.B.A. 1963 from Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus, Stanford University, USA.

 

The Prize amount: 10 million Swedish kronor, to be shared equally between the Laureates.
Further information: www.kva.se and http://www.nobelprize.org
Press contact: Eva Nevelius, Press Secretary, +46 70 878 67 63, eva.nevelius@kva.se
Experts: Tommy Andersson, +46 73 358 26 54, tommy.andersson@nek.lu.se, Tore Ellingsen, +46 70 796 10 49, tore.ellingsen@hhs.se, Torsten Persson, +46 79 313 39 04, torsten.persson@iies.su.se, Committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

SOURCE

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/2020/summary/

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The University of California has a proud legacy of winning Nobel Prizes, 68 faculty and staff have been awarded 69 Nobel Prizes.

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

PREVIOUS PRIZE WINNERS

The University of California has a proud legacy of winning Nobel Prizes that stretches all the way back to 1939, when Ernest O. Lawrence was awarded the prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron. In the years since, dozens of other University of California faculty and staff have been awarded this highest international honor for their contributions in medicine, economics, physics and more.

Today, 68 faculty and staff have been awarded 69 Nobel Prizes.

View as grid

Name

Campus affiliation

Field of study

Year of award

  • Jennifer Doudna

    UC Berkeley

    Chemistry

    2020

  • Andrea Ghez

    UCLA

    Physics

    2020

  • Reinhard Genzel

    UC Berkeley

    Physics

    2020

  • Randy Schekman

    UC Berkeley

    Physiology or medicine

    2013

  • Lloyd Shapley

    UCLA

    Economics

    2012

  • Shinya Yamanaka

    UC San Francisco

    Physiology or medicine

    2012

  • Saul Perlmutter

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Physics

    2011

  • Elizabeth Blackburn

    UC San Francisco

    Physiology or medicine

    2009

  • Oliver E. Williamson

    UC Berkeley

    Economics

    2009

  • Roger Y. Tsien

    UC San Diego

    Chemistry

    2008

  • George Smoot

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Physics

    2006

  • Richard R. Schrock

    UC Riverside

    Chemistry

    2005

  • David Gross

    UC Santa Barbara

    Physics

    2004

  • Finn E. Kydland

    UC Santa Barbara

    Economic sciences

    2004

  • Irwin Rose

    UC Irvine

    Chemistry

    2004

  • Robert F. Engle

    UC San Diego

    Economic sciences

    2003

  • Clive Granger

    UC San Diego

    Economic sciences

    2003

  • Sydney Brenner

    UC San Diego

    Physiology or medicine

    2002

  • George Akerlof

    UC Berkeley

    Economic sciences

    2001

  • Alan J. Heeger

    UC Santa Barbara

    Chemistry

    2000

  • Herbert Kroemer

    UC Santa Barbara

    Physics

    2000

  • Daniel McFadden

    UC Berkeley

    Economic sciences

    2000

  • Louis J. Ignarro

    UCLA

    Physiology or medicine

    1998

  • Walter Kohn

    UC Santa Barbara

    Chemistry

    1998

  • Robert B. Laughlin

    UC Livermore Lab

    Physics

    1998

  • Paul D. Boyer

    UCLA

    Chemistry

    1997

  • Steven Chu

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Physics

    1997

  • Stanley B. Prusiner

    UC San Francisco

    Physiology or medicine

    1997

  • Paul Crutzen

    UC San Diego

    Chemistry

    1995

  • Mario J. Molina

    UC San Diego

    Chemistry

    1995

  • Frederick Reines

    UC Irvine

    Physics

    1995

  • F. Sherwood Rowland

    UC Irvine

    Chemistry

    1995

  • John Harsanyi

    UC Berkeley

    Economic sciences

    1994

  • Harry Markowitz

    UC San Diego

    Economic sciences

    1990

  • J. Michael Bishop

    UC San Francisco

    Physiology or medicine

    1989

  • Harold E. Varmus

    UC San Francisco

    Physiology or medicine

    1989

  • Donald J. Cram

    UCLA

    Chemistry

    1987

  • Yuan T. Lee

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Chemistry

    1986

  • Gerard Debreu

    UC Berkeley

    Economic sciences

    1983

  • Czeslaw Milosz

    UC Berkeley

    Literature

    1980

  • Roger Guillemin

    UC San Diego

    Physiology or medicine

    1977

  • Renato Dulbecco

    UC San Diego

    Physiology or medicine

    1975

  • George Emil Palade

    UC San Diego

    Physiology or medicine

    1974

  • John Robert Schrieffer

    UC Santa Barbara

    Physics

    1972

  • Hannes Alfven

    UC San Diego

    Physics

    1970

  • Luis Walter Alvarez

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Physics

    1968

  • Robert W. Holley

    UC San Diego

    Physiology or medicine

    1968

  • Julian Schwinger

    UCLA

    Physics

    1965

  • Charles H. Townes

    UC Berkeley

    Physics

    1964

  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer

    UC San Diego

    Physics

    1963

  • Francis Crick

    UC San Diego

    Physiology or medicine

    1962

  • Melvin Calvin

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Chemistry

    1961

  • Donald A. Glaser

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Physics

    1960

  • Willard Libby

    UCLA

    Chemistry

    1960

  • Owen Chamberlain

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Physics

    1959

  • Emilio Segrè

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Chemistry

    1959

  • Linus Pauling

    UC San Diego

    Chemistry, Peace

    1954, 1962

  • Edwin McMillan

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Chemistry

    1951

  • Glenn T. Seaborg

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Chemistry

    1951

  • William Giauque

    UC Berkeley

    Chemistry

    1949

  • John Howard Northrop

    UC Berkeley

    Chemistry

    1946

  • Wendell Meredith Stanley

    UC Berkeley

    Chemistry

    1946

  • Ernest Lawrence

    UC Berkeley/Berkeley Lab

    Physics

    1939

  • Harold Urey

    UC San Diego

    Chemistry

    1934

HOW UC NOBEL LAUREATES ARE COUNTED

Our list of Nobel Prize winners includes University of California faculty and staff who were affiliated with UC when they received their award. It also includes faculty and staff who joined UC after receiving their Nobel Prize. And although we are immensely proud of the many UC alumni who have gone on to receive Nobel Prizes, they are not counted here. Nor are visiting scholars or others who had short-term assignments with UC. Finally, our Nobelist list is a “lifetime” list and includes those living, retired or deceased.

SOURCE

https://nobel.universityofcalifornia.edu/

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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020: Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer A. Doudna

Reporters: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D. and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

UPDATED on 11/12/2020

Harvard’s Jack Szostak congratulates former advisee Jennifer Doudna

It was a toast from one Nobel laureate to another, sweetened by the pride of a mentor to a prized student.

When Jennifer Doudna Ph.D. ’89 was honored on Wednesday with the Nobel Prize in chemistry for her work on the CRISPR gene-editing technique, she became the second person to gain such an honor from the lab of Jack Szostak, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Szostak, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2009 for work on how telomere caps keep the body’s chromosomes from breaking down, advised Doudna’s doctoral work on RNA and on Wednesday raised a glass in honor of Doudna, now at the University of California, Berkeley. In a tweet, Szostak expressed his delight at seeing someone he once guided through her early scientific steps soar to science’s highest reaches:

Doudna received the prize together with Emmanuelle Charpentier, for their work discovering and developing CRISPR as a precise gene-editing tool. In just the eight years since the pair announced their discovery the use of the technique has rapidly spread to a host of fields, allowing researchers to alter the code of life and develop resistant crops, new medical therapies, and even anticipate curing inherited diseases.

 

UPDADTED on 11/2/2020

 

Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020

Live webcast from the press conference where the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will announce the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020.

 

 

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to

Emmanuelle Charpentier
Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany

Jennifer A. Doudna
University of California, Berkeley, USA

“for the development of a method for genome editing”

Genetic scissors: a tool for rewriting the code of life

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.

Researchers need to modify genes in cells if they are to find out about life’s inner workings. This used to be time-consuming, difficult and sometimes impossible work. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, it is now possible to change the code of life over the course of a few weeks.

“There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all. It has not only revolutionised basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to ground-breaking new medical treatments,” says Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.

As so often in science, the discovery of these genetic scissors was unexpected. During Emmanuelle Charpentier’s studies of Streptococcus pyogenes, one of the bacteria that cause the most harm to humanity, she discovered a previously unknown molecule, tracrRNA. Her work showed that tracrRNA is part of bacteria’s ancient immune system, CRISPR/Cas, that disarms viruses by cleaving their DNA.

Charpentier published her discovery in 2011. The same year, she initiated a collaboration with Jennifer Doudna, an experienced biochemist with vast knowledge of RNA. Together, they succeeded in recreating the bacteria’s genetic scissors in a test tube and simplifying the scissors’ molecular components so they were easier to use.

In an epoch-making experiment, they then reprogrammed the genetic scissors. In their natural form, the scissors recognise DNA from viruses, but Charpentier and Doudna proved that they could be controlled so that they can cut any DNA molecule at a predetermined site. Where the DNA is cut it is then easy to rewrite the code of life.

Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. This tool has contributed to many important discoveries in basic research, and plant researchers have been able to develop crops that withstand mould, pests and drought. In medicine, clinical trials of new cancer therapies are underway, and the dream of being able to cure inherited diseases is about to come true. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.

Illustrations

The illustrations are free to use for non-commercial purposes. Attribute ”© Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences”

Illustration: Using the genetic scissors (pdf)
Illustration: Streptococcus’ natural immune system against viruses:CRISPR/Cas9 pdf)
Illustration: CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors (pdf)

Read more about this year’s prize

Popular information: Genetic scissors: a tool for rewriting the code of life (pdf)
Scientific Background: A tool for genome editing (pdf)

Emmanuelle Charpentier, born 1968 in Juvisy-sur-Orge, France. Ph.D. 1995 from Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany.

Jennifer A. Doudna, born 1964 in Washington, D.C, USA. Ph.D. 1989 from Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

SOURCE

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2020/press-release/

 

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to scientists who discovered CRISPR gene editing tool for ‘rewriting the code of life’

(CNN)The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing.

They discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and micro-organisms with extremely high precision.
Before announcing the winners on Wednesday, Göran K. Hansson, secretary-general for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said that this year’s prize was about “rewriting the code of life.”
The American biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna (left) and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, pictured together in 2016.
 
The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools have revolutionized the molecular life sciences, brought new opportunities for plant breeding, are contributing to innovative cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true, according to a press release from the Nobel committee.
 
 
There have also been some ethical concerns around the CRISPR technology, however.
Charpentier, a French microbiologist, and Doudna, an American biochemist, are the first women to jointly win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the sixth and seventh women to win the chemistry prize.
close dialog

 

Jennifer Doudna wins 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry

 

First Day in a Nobel Life: Jennifer Doudna

12,365 views
Oct 7, 2020
 
Scenes from day that UC Berkeley Professor Jennifer Doudna won the Nobel Prize For the full story, visit: https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/10/07/… University of California, Berkeley, biochemist Jennifer Doudna today won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing it with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing breakthrough that has revolutionized biomedicine. CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to rewrite DNA — the code of life — in any organism, including human cells, with unprecedented efficiency and precision. The groundbreaking power and versatility of CRISPR-Cas9 has opened up new and wide-ranging possibilities across biology, agriculture and medicine, including the treatment of thousands of intractable diseases. Doudna and Charpentier, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, will share the 10 million Swedish krona (more than $1 million) prize. “This great honor recognizes the history of CRISPR and the collaborative story of harnessing it into a profoundly powerful engineering technology that gives new hope and possibility to our society,” said Doudna. “What started as a curiosity‐driven, fundamental discovery project has now become the breakthrough strategy used by countless researchers working to help improve the human condition. I encourage continued support of fundamental science as well as public discourse about the ethical uses and responsible regulation of CRISPR technology.” Video by Clare Major & Roxanne Makasdjian
SOURCE

 

Jennifer Doudna wins 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry

 

Jennifer Doudna in the PBS Movie CRISPR

Our critically-acclaimed documentary HUMAN NATURE is now streaming on NETFLIX. #HumanNatureFilm. Find out more about the film on our website.

 

Other Articles on the Nobel Prize in this Open Access Journal Include:

2020 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for Hepatitis C Discovery goes to British scientist Michael Houghton and US researchers Harvey Alter and Charles Rice

CONTAGIOUS – About Viruses, Pandemics and Nobel Prizes at the Nobel Prize Museum, Stockholm, Sweden 

AACR Congratulates Dr. William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Dr. Gregg L. Semenza on 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for contributions to Cancer Immunotherapy to James P. Allison, Ph.D., of the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Dr. Allison shares the prize with Tasuku Honjo, M.D., Ph.D., of Kyoto University Institute, Japan

2017 Nobel prize in chemistry given to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson  for developing cryo-electron microscopy

2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for development of molecular machines, the world’s smallest mechanical devices, the winners: Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa

Correspondence on Leadership in Genomics and other Gene Curations: Dr. Williams with Dr. Lev-Ari

Programming life: An interview with Jennifer Doudna by Michael Chui, a partner of the McKinsey Global Institute

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2020 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for Hepatitis C Discovery goes to British scientist Michael Houghton and US researchers Harvey Alter and Charles Rice

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020

Harvey J. Alter

Ill. Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media.

Harvey J. Alter

Prize share: 1/3

Michael Houghton

Ill. Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media.

Michael Houghton

Prize share: 1/3

Charles M. Rice

Ill. Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media.

Charles M. Rice

Prize share: 1/3

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.”

 

Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to Hepatitis C discovery

The winners are British scientist Michael Houghton and US researchers Harvey Alter and Charles Rice.

The Nobel Prize committee said their discoveries ultimately “saved millions of lives”. The virus is a common cause of liver cancer and a major reason why people need a liver transplant.

In the 1960s, there was huge concern that people receiving donated blood were getting chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation) from an unknown, mysterious disease. The Nobel Prize committee said a blood transfusion at the time was like “Russian roulette”. Highly sensitive blood tests mean such cases have now been eliminated in many parts of the world, and effective anti-viral drugs have also been developed. “For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating Hepatitis C virus from the world,” the prize committee said. However, the 70 million people are currently living with the virus, which still kills around 400,000 a year.

The mystery killer

The viruses Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B had been discovered by the mid-1960s.

But Prof Harvey Alter, while studying transfusion patients at the US National Institutes of Health in 1972, showed there was another, mystery, infection at work. Patients were still getting sick after receiving donated blood. He showed that giving blood from infected patients to chimpanzees led to them developing the disease.

The mysterious illness became known as “non-A, non-B” hepatitis in and the hunt was now on.

Prof Michael Houghton, while at the pharmaceutical firm Chiron, managed to isolated the genetic sequence of the virus in 1989. This showed it was a type of flavivirus and it was named Hepatitis C.

And Prof Charles Rice, while at Washington University in St. Louis, applied the finishing touches in 1997. He injected a genetically engineered Hepatitis C virus into the liver of chimpanzees and showed this could lead to hepatitis.

SOURCE

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54418463

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine went to:

 

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2020 AAAI US$1M Annual Award for Societal Impact of Artificial Intelligence goes to MIT’s CSAIL Professor, Regina Barzilay

 

Barzilay’s work in AI, which ranges from tools for early cancer detection to platforms to identify new antibiotics, is increasingly garnering recognition: On Wednesday, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence named Barzilay as the inaugural recipient of a new annual award honoring an individual developing or promoting AI for the good of society. The award comes with a $1 million prize sponsored by the Chinese education technology company Squirrel AI Learning.

Barzilay’s treatment was successful, and she believes her clinical team at MGH did the best they could in providing her with standard care. At the same time, she said, “it was extremely not satisfying to see how the simplest things that the technology can address were not addressed” — including a delayed diagnosis, an inability to collect data, and statistical flaws in studies used to make treatment decisions.

AAAI and Squirrel AI Learning Announce the Establishment of US$1M Annual Award for Societal Impact of Artificial Intelligence

May 28, 2019
Beijing, China

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and Squirrel AI Learning announced the establishment of a new $1M annual award for societal benefits of AI. The award will be sponsored by Squirrel AI Learning as part of its mission to promote the use of artificial intelligence with lasting positive effects for society.

The new Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Humanity was announced jointly by Derek Haoyang Li, Founder and Chairman of Squirrel AI Learning, and Yolanda Gil, President of AAAI, at the 2019 conference for AI for adaptive Education (AIAED) in Beijing.

https://aaai.org/Pressroom/Releases/release-19-0528.php

SOURCE

https://www.statnews.com/2020/09/23/regina-barzilay-mit-artificial-intelligence-award/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=0bceb5f630-Daily_Recap&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-0bceb5f630-150237109

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Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs: Podcast by Denise Silber spoke with Moderna CEO and Harvard alumnus Stéphane Bancel: The race to find a vaccine – what it takes to develop a vaccine during a pandemic, Leadership in managing a science-based company

Reporter: Aviva Lev- Ari, PhD, RN

IN THIS EPISODE:

In this episode, Denise Silber, host of HAE Invites, interviews the CEO of Moderna Therapeutics (MRNA), one of the most strategic and observed life science companies of the COVID crisis.  In December 2018, Moderna became the largest biotech IPO in history. Now in 2020, they are called upon to do what has never been done before, to accelerate the development of a vaccine for a new disease. Join Denise as she speaks with Stéphane Bancel, the founding CEO of this Cambridge, MA research-based firm, whose pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) technology platform, includes a leading COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

SUBSCRIBE NOW FOR FREE:

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HERE’S A GLIMPSE OF WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Where Moderna Therapeutics is in the process of bringing the vaccine to market and who their competitors are

  • How the population could be segmented for the distribution of the vaccine

  • Current thinking on the need of a booster to prolong immunity

  • How Messenger RNA technology can be a platform for producing vaccines and medicines in an accelerated time frame

  • The importance of  asking “what if”, making decisions with incomplete information, and being transparent when managing in a science-based company

  • How to empower a team to do what has never been done before, through boldness, curiosity, and collaboration

  • How to share and communicate common values as the company grows

  • Why scientific failure is such a valuable experience

  • How the Case Method at HBS helps us overcome our blind spots

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

STÉPHANE BANCEL CEO, MODERNA THERAPEUTICS

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Stéphane Bancel has served as CEO of Moderna Therapeutics since October 2011 and as a member of Moderna’s board of directors since March 2011. Before joining the Company, he served for five years as Chief Executive Officer of the French diagnostics company bioMérieux SA. From July 2000 to March 2006, Stéphane Bancel served in various roles at Eli Lilly and Company, including as Managing Director, Belgium and as Executive Director, Global Manufacturing Strategy and Supply Chain. Prior to Lilly, he served as Asia-Pacific Sales and Marketing Director for bioMérieux.

Stéphane Bancel currently serves on the board of directors of Qiagen N.V. and previously served on the board of directors of BG Medicine, Inc. and Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYRS). He is currently a Venture Partner at Flagship Pioneering and a trustee of the Museum of Science in Boston. Stéphane Bancel holds a Master of Engineering degree from École Centrale Paris (ECP), a Master of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

SOURCE

https://www.harvardae.org/podcasts/2020/6/22/when-a-harvard-alum-is-the-ceo-of-moderna-therapeutics-in-the-race-for-the-covid-19-vaccine

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In 2020 – 70 years a part @MIT: The Online 2020 Commencement & Presidential Address @MIT and The Online Premiere of the Shannon Documentary – The Bit Player. A Unique Tribute to Claude Shannon Screened at 2020 International Symposium on Information Theory 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

 

The Online 2020 Commencement at MIT

WATCH VIDEO

https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/urn:li:ugcPost:6672179189057167360/

 

The Online premiere of the Shannon Documentary – The Bit Player. A unique tribute to Claude Shannon screened at 2020 International Symposium on Information Theory 

WATCH VIDEO – The trailer for The Bit Player on Vimeo

https://mailchi.mp/db216e63ba60/call-for-papers-ieee-jstsp-special-issue-on-data-science-37170?e=c9c19f407a

 

 

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Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN
Podcast From
McKinsey Global Institute

Programming life: An interview with Jennifer Doudna by Michael Chui, a partner of the McKinsey Global Institute

 

The article in PDF format

AUDIT the Podcast Interview by Michael Chui

Lightning round: Quick questions and answers with Jennifer Doudna

Michael Chui: Yes, nurturing the next generation is an incredible privilege and a great joy. That totally resonates with me. Next, I’d love to do a quick lightning round of quick questions, quick answers. They’re meant to be fun. If you don’t like one you could just say, “Pass.” Are you willing to do that with me?

Jennifer Doudna: Sure.

Michael Chui: Here we go. First, what’s your favorite source of information about biological innovations?

Jennifer Doudna: Twitter.

Michael Chui: What’s a thing you wish people understood about CRISPR?

Jennifer Doudna: Oh boy. I wish they understood that it’s an ancient immune system in bugs.

Michael Chui: What’s the number one thing that people get wrong about CRISPR?

Jennifer Doudna: I think what they get wrong is that it’s not a cure-all. It’s a powerful tool, but it can’t do everything.

Michael Chui: What excites you most about the Bio Revolution?

Jennifer Doudna: Thinking about what’s next and how we get there.

Michael Chui: What worries you most about the Biological Revolution?

Jennifer Doudna: Technology getting ahead of itself, and people proceeding to do things that can be done, but really should not be done.

Michael Chui: What application of biological technologies is most underhyped or underrecognized for its potential?

Jennifer Doudna: I think it’s the work in plants and agriculture. It doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s going to be extremely impactful.

Michael Chui: What application of biological innovation is most overhyped?

Jennifer Doudna: CRISPR babies.

Michael Chui: What job would you be doing today if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?

Jennifer Doudna: I think I’d be an architect. I like building things.

Michael Chui: Not tomato farmer?

Jennifer Doudna: Well, that too. That’s very possible.

Michael Chui: Okay. In terms of tomatoes, do you think of yourself as a latter-day Mendel? Or is it just something you do for fun?

Jennifer Doudna: Mostly I do it for fun. I often tell my son, “If I had another life to live, I would probably be a plant geneticist.” Plant genetics is really fascinating.

Michael Chui: Did your childhood in Hawaii have anything to do with that? Because they have crazy plants there.

Jennifer Doudna: They do have crazy plants there. Yes, I’m sure it has a lot to do with it.

Michael Chui: All right, I have two more lightning round questions. To a student who is entering college today, what would you recommend that they study?

Jennifer Doudna: Computer science or robotics.

Michael Chui: Wait, we just spoke about how amazing biology is, and you’re saying computer science and robotics. What gives?

Pay attention to what’s happening in biology because it’s changing very quickly.

Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna: Well, I think those are going to intersect with biology. I really do. And when I say computer science and robotics, I increasingly think that those fields will include biology, because they have to.

Michael Chui: Finally, what one piece of advice do you have for listeners of this podcast?

Jennifer Doudna: Pay attention to what’s happening in biology because it’s changing very quickly.

Michael Chui: Great. Jennifer, thank you so much for joining us today, for sharing some of your insights. I’m Michael Chui with the McKinsey Global Institute. My guest has been Jennifer Doudna, discoverer of the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, and who also directs the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley. Thank you.

Jennifer Doudna: Thank you, Michael.

 

Jennifer Doudna, PhD is a professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jennifer is also the executive director of the Innovative Genomics Institute, the Li Ka Shing chancellor’s chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences, and a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Gladstone Institutes, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Her contributions to Life Sciences @UCBLettersSci

 

are captured in two books published in 2015 and in 2019 by Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (LPBI) Group, Boston

  • VOLUME 2: Latest in Genomics Methodologies for Therapeutics: Gene Editing, NGS & BioInformatics, Simulations and the Genome Ontology On Amazon.com since 12/28/2019

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08385KF87

 

 

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via Special COVID-19 Christopher Magazine

Special COVID-19 Christopher Magazine

Christopher-coverAntonio Giordano, MD, PhD. explains what COVID is and how to contain the infection, pointing also to what will require attention next.

Please see this special release at http://online.fliphtml5.com/qlnw/zgau/#p=1

 

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via Dr. Giordano Featured in Forbes Article on COVID-19 Antibody Tests in Italy and USA

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