The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for developing a method for genome editing, but leave out what everyone considers “the father” of this tool and who laid the foundations of the CRISPR technique, the Spaniard Francis Mojica.
“And the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry finally goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for developing a method for gene editing. The CRISPR are awarded but the essential contribution of Francis Mojica is not recognized“said Lluís Montoliu, a researcher at the National Center for Biotechnology, on his Twitter account.
And the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry finally goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for “the development of a method for genome editing”. The #CRISPR but the essential contribution of Francis Mojica is NOT recognized. @NobelPrizehttps://t.co/gOQbuCjVbTpic.twitter.com/VuchLjeDb0
– Lluis Montoliu (@LluisMontoliu) October 7, 2020
The microbiologist at the University of Navarra, Ignacio López-Goñi, also echoed the news of the Nobel Prize for Charpentier and Doudna with a tweet in which he laconically stated: “Well wow, what a disappointment!, in clear reference to the non-inclusion of Mojica among the winners.
These are the 12 essential researchers to understand the revolution #CRISPR The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognizes 2 of them, but forgets Virginjus Siksnys, the Lithuanian who also proposed using them for genetic editing in 2012, and especially Francis Mojica who started it pic.twitter.com/RuCFhTCd6Q
– Lluis Montoliu (@LluisMontoliu) October 7, 2020
The biologist and Doctor in Hematology and Oncology Ginés Luengo or the biologist Carlos Estella have also reacted in a similar way, recalling the achievements of their colleague and showing their “sadness” and “disagreement” because Mojica has not received the award.
It is unforgivable that @NobelPrize has “forgotten” about the discovery of CRISPR by Francis Mojica. We will have to look for alternative prizes that are worthwhile.
– Ginés Luengo Gil (@LuengoGil) October 7, 2020
Very happy to read that the Chemistry Nobel prize is awarded to the gene editing development of CRISPR/Cas9 technique by Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna. Sad and disappointed (although expected) that the academy did not recognize Francis Mojica contribution. https://t.co/erbn4AAdmY
– Carlos Estella (@estella_carlos) October 7, 2020
Mojica has been in the Nobel prize pools for years and the molecular tool that today distinguishes these awards It is inspired by a discovery made by the Spanish researcher about the immune system of bacteria and how they defend themselves against viruses.
Mojica, the most prestigious microbiologist in our country
This researcher from the University of Alicante He is the first Spaniard to achieve the Albany Prize (the most prestigious award in medicine in the United States after the Nobel). The CRISPR technique was also awarded the Princess of Asturias Award in 2015, which was awarded to today’s nobles Charpentier and Doudna.
The two biochemists were awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research for developing “a technology that allows to edit genomes in a simple and precise way, and manipulate the DNA of plants, animals and humans, “the Spanish institution highlighted at the time.
Mojica feels as if “the son one has has triumphed in life”
Mojica, meanwhile, has indicated after learning the name of the Nobel laureates that the award “has passed by” and he has been happy because, although it has not touched him, he feels as if “the son one has has triumphed in life.”
Without losing calm and with a smile, Mojica has made these statements to the EFE Agency in his office in the Microbiology department of the University of Alicante. “The probability (of being awarded) was very remote” but “it has passed close by”, confessed Mojica, who has seen the distinction to Charpentier and Doudna with “great joy because, regardless of what they consider you”, has said in reference to the Nobel jury, “I have been involved in this many years”.
“They have given it to the child that we had here and that nobody paid attention to, and it is a pride. It is not good to say it, but it is like the son one has has triumphed in life “, according to Mojica, who believes that” now we will hear much more about CRISPR than is already being done “and that is” a enormous pride. “
Asked if it seems unfair not to have been included in the list as a third winner, he exclaimed “What can we do!”. She has speculated that the jury may have thought that “there would be many parents, perhaps: parents, cousins, stepbrothers” because “the CRISPR family is very large and identifying the person responsible for this revolution is complicated, and they have chosen the most.
Mojica is aware that the Nobel has escaped him, surely definitively, from between your fingers, and now you feel “at peace of mind.” “I will no longer have journalists at the door in the first days of October” (when the Nobel Prize is failed) since “for me there is no longer any possibility”.