Walter Isaacson is world-renowned for biographies that give an unparalleled, in-depth look into the lives and minds of his subjects – from creative geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci to innovators like Steve Jobs. In his latest book, The Code Breaker, Walter delves into the mind of American biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner Jennifer Doudna, who is considered one of the primary inventors of the gene-editing system that powered the science behind several COVID-19 vaccines – CRISPR. This game-changing bio-technology – one of the most important scientific achievements of our time – has already been used to cure patients of sickle cell anemia in the U.S.
Moderated by award-winning broadcast and special events creator, producer and Cresset advisory board member Nanci Weaver, Walter Isaacson delves into how Jennifer Doudna defied the odds and beat out the competition to help create a technology that will undoubtedly change the course of the human race. He discusses how Doudna’s discovery works, how it is currently being used, and the many moral and ethical questions that “rewriting the code of life” raises.
Doudna was a pioneer in identifying the structure of RNA – an innovation that led to the first two approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Hear how CRISPR has allowed new forms of COVID-19 testing and treatments and how these two first-of-their kind mRNA vaccines can be easily adapted to fight almost any new virus or variant that comes along. As Isaacson reflects on Doudna’s groundbreaking achievements, you’ll also hear his resounding lessons about leadership and innovation through the lens of the many remarkable figures whose lives he has chronicled.