Barry Sharpless, Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the second time

ANDREW SETA / AFP K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D, addresses a room full of reporters and colleagues from the Scripps Research Institute after winning the 101st Nobel Prize in Chemistry on October 10, 2001 in La Jolla, California. Sharpless received this year’s chemistry award along with William S. Knowles of Monsanto and Ryoji Noyori of the University of Nagoya in Japan for developing asymmetric catalytic synthesis. AFP PHOTO / Andrew SILK (Photo by ANDREW SILK / AFP)

ANDREW SETA / AFP

K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D, addresses a room full of reporters and colleagues from the Scripps Research Institute after winning the 101st Nobel Prize in Chemistry on October 10, 2001 in La Jolla, California. Sharpless received this year’s chemistry award along with William S. Knowles of Monsanto and Ryoji Noyori of the University of Nagoya in Japan for developing asymmetric catalytic synthesis. AFP PHOTO / Andrew SILK (Photo by ANDREW SILK / AFP)

SCIENCE – The distribution of the 2022 Nobel Prizes continues. After medicine and physics, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded this Wednesday 5 October to the American Carolyn R. Bertozzi, the Danish Morten Meldal and the American K. Barry Sharpless .

They are awarded for “the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry”. The “click chemistry” is a new form of combining molecules.
This is used in particular to develop pharmaceutical treatments, map DNA or create new materials.

At the age of 81, Barry Sharpless is the fifth winner of two Nobel Prizes. She had already won it in 2001. Before him, Marie Curie had obtained physics (1903) then chemistry (1911). Frederick Sanger, the father of DNA sequencing got chemistry (1958) and medicine (1962), John Bardeen who revealed the transistor effect got two Nobel Prizes in physics (1956-1972) and Linus Pauling got chemistry (1954) then peace (1962).

Ten years of chemistry graduates

Before these three scientists, Here are the names of the ten previous Nobel laureates for their work:

  • 2021: Benjamin List (Germany) and David MacMillan (UK) for inventing a new way to produce molecules using a new type of catalyst, at a lower cost and in a cleaner way.
  • 2020: Emmanuelle Charpentier (France) and Jennifer Doudna (United States) for the development of “ molecular scissors ” capable of modifying human genes, a revolutionary breakthrough.
  • 2019: John Goodenough (United States), Stanley Whittingham (United Kingdom) and Akira Yoshino (Japan) for the invention of lithium-ion batteries, now present in many everyday technologies.
  • 2018: Frances H. Arnold (USA), George P. Smith (USA) and Gregory P. Winter (UK) for their work exploiting the mechanisms of evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory.
  • 2017: Jacques Dubochet (Switzerland), Joachim Frank (United States) and Richard Henderson (Great Britain) for developing cryo-electron microscopy, a revolutionary method of observing molecules coupled with 3D imaging.
  • 2016: Jean-Pierre Sauvage (France), Fraser Stoddart (Great Britain) and Bernard Feringa (Netherlands), the fathers of tiny “ molecular machines ” foreshadowing the nanorobots of the future.
  • 2015: Aziz Sancar (Turkey / USA), Paul Modrich (USA) and Tomas Lindahl (Sweden) for their work on DNA repair.
  • 2014: Eric Betzig (United States), William Moerner (United States) and Stefan Hell (Germany) for improving the microscope, allowing him to see the infinitely small.
  • 2013: Martin Karplus (United States / Austria), Michael Levitt (United States / United Kingdom) and Arieh Warshel (United States / Israel) for the development of models for complex chemical systems to optimize catalysts, drugs and photovoltaic cells.
  • 2012: Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka (USA) for their work on receptors that allow cells to understand their environment, a major breakthrough for the pharmaceutical industry.

The next prizes will be awarded according to the following schedule:

  • Literature, Thursday 6 October at 1pm
  • Pace, Friday 7 October at 11am
  • Economy, Monday 10 October at 11:45 am

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