The award takes the number of women who have ever won the Nobel Prize in chemistry from five to seven.
Professor Jennifer Doudna and Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work developing a method for genome editing.
Both scientists will equally share 10 million Swedish kronor (£866,000) for their discovery of “one of gene technology’s sharpest tools” – the CRISPR/Cas9 “genetic scissors”.
The Nobel committee said, “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.”
It is the first time the Nobel Prize for chemistry has been awarded to two women in the same year in its 119-year history.