Two Americans and one Dane win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The award The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded this Wednesday to the Danish Morten Meldal, the American Carloyn Bertozzi and his compatriot Barry Sharpless, for laying the foundations for a more functional form of scientific discipline.

The trio was recognized “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry,” the jury said in its decision. For Sharpless, at 81, it is the second time he has won the award.

Only four other people have received a Nobel twice, among them the French of Polish origin Marie Curie.

Sharpless, based in California, and Meldal, 58 years old and from the University of Copenhagen, They were recognized for their pioneering work with click chemistry, a new way of combining molecules.

Click chemistry “is an elegant and efficient chemical reaction that is currently widely used,” the jury noted. “Among many other uses, it is used in the development of pharmaceutical products, mapping of DNA and creation” of new materials.

The American Bertozzi, 55 years old, was awarded for the development of bioorthogonal chemistry, a chemical reaction that is described as capable of being initiated in a living organism but without disturbing or changing its chemical nature.

his findings have paved the way for improving the efficacy of cancer treatments.

The trio will share the sum of 10 million crowns (USD 917,500) and receive the prize from the hands of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf. at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel, who created the prizes in his will.

The academy honored the German last year Benjamin List and British-American David MacMillan for the development of a precise tool for molecular construction known as asymmetric catalysis.

The Chemistry award will be followed by the highly anticipated Literature awards on Thursday and La Paz on Friday.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry of the last decade

  • 2022: Carloyn Bertozzi (USA), Barry Sharpless (USA), Morten Meldal (Denmark), for the development of “click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry”.
  • 2021: Benjamin List (Germany) and David MacMillan (USA), for “the development of asymmetric organocatalysis,” a new molecule-building tool that has “greened” chemistry and improved pharmaceutical research.
  • 2020: Emmanuelle Charpentier (France) and Jennifer Doudna (USA), for their research on “molecular scissors”, a “revolutionary” advance to modify human genes and somehow rewrite DNA that may help develop new therapies against cancer and make the dream of curing hereditary diseases come true.
  • 2019: John Goodenough (USA), Stanley Whittingham (UK) and Akira Yoshino (Japan) for the invention of lithium batteries, present in numerous technologies of daily life.
  • 2018: Frances H. Arnold, George P. Smith (USA), and Gregory P. Winter (UK) for their work applying the mechanisms of evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory.
  • 2017: Jacques Dubochet (Switzerland), Joachim Frank (USA) and Richard Henderson (UK) for developing cryoelectron microscopy, a revolutionary method of observing molecules in 3D.
  • 2016: Jean-Pierre Sauvage (France), Fraser Stoddart (United Kingdom) and Bernard Feringa (Netherlands), fathers of the minuscule “molecular machines” that prefigure the nanorobots of the future.
  • 2015: Tomas Lindahl (Sweden), Paul Modrich (USA) and Aziz Sancar (USA/Turkey) for their work on the mechanism of DNA repair, which may lead to new cancer treatments.
  • 2014: Eric Betzig, William Moerner (USA), and Stefan Hell (Germany), for developing high-resolution fluorescent microscopy.
  • 2013: Martin Karplus (USA/Austria), Michael Levitt (USA/UK), and Arieh Warshel (USA/Israel), for the development of multiscale models of complex chemical systems.
  • 2012: Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka (USA) for their work on receptors that allow cells to understand their environment, an essential advance for the pharmaceutical industry.


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Two Americans and one Dane win Nobel Prize in Chemistry