Rachel Haurwitz & Jennifer Doudna
In the future, deadly diseases will be snipped from your DNA like lines of bad code. At least that’s how the University of California at Berkeley biochemistry professor (Doudna) and her former-student-turned-CEO (Haurwitz) envision it. Doudna’s research team at Berkeley published the first paper illustrating Crispr’s gene-editing abilities back in 2012, and then spun it out into the Berkeley-based company, which now has 50 employees—half of whom are female—and more than $40 million in funding. The controversial goal, which the founders hope to accomplish within five to 10 years, is to release FDA-approved therapies that could attack everything from cancer to cystic fibrosis, as well as to engineer malaria-resistant mosquitoes. First, though, they have to survive their ongoing patent dispute with MIT.