The Kimberly Prize in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, made possible by Kimberly Querrey in honor of her late husband Lou Simpson, is awarded every year to a scientist who has made outstanding research contributions into the molecular basis of life with a direct demonstrated link of their discovery into clinic for the betterment of humankind. This annual prize is given by the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics and administered by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Craig Crews, PhD
Craig Crews, PhD, is the John C. Malone Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and professor of Chemistry, of Pharmacology, and of Management at Yale University, where he is also executive director of the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery. He received the prize for his pioneering work in the pharmaceutical field of targeted protein degradation. He has led the development of the anti-cancer drug carfilzomib (KyprolisTM) for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and for spearheading the development of PROTAC (proteolysis-targeting chimeras) drugs, which use heterobifunctional molecules — molecular homing devices fused to cellular protein adapters — to target specific proteins for destruction by the cell’s proteasome. Crews is credited with bringing PROTAC-based drugs into clinical trials, which could be used to treat an array of human diseases, including cancer.
He is the co-founder of Proteolix, Inc., whose proteasome inhibitor KyprolisTM received FDA approval for the treatment of multiple myeloma, the founder of Arvinas, Inc., the first biotechnology company to bring PROTAC drugs into clinical trials, and the founder of Halda Therapeutics, focused on experimental medicines for cancer.
Crews has received several other recent prizes for his research including the Gabbay Award for Biotechnology and Medicine in 2023, the Scheele Prize in 2021, the Heinrich Wieland Prize in 2020, along with many other awards.
Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD
Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair and professor in the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the inaugural recipient of the Kimberly Prize for her fundamental biochemical studies providing molecular insight into the function of CRISPR/Cas systems as tools for genome editing and the application of her work to biology and medicine. This powerful technology enables scientists to change DNA — the code of life — with a precision only dreamt of just a few years ago. Basic science laboratories and pharmaceutical companies worldwide have redirected the course of their research programs to incorporate this new tool, creating a CRISPR revolution with huge implications across biology and medicine.
In addition to her scientific achievements, Doudna is a leader in public discussion of the ethical implications of genome editing for human biology and societies and advocates for thoughtful approaches to the development of policies around the safe use of CRISPR technology.
Doudna has received numerous awards for her discoveries, including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Kavli Prize in Nanoscience; BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine; Japan Prize; Warren Alpert Foundation Prize; Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, and several others.