Barry Sharpless, Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the second time

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

ANDREW SILK / AFP

K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D, addresses a room full of reporters and colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute after winning the 101st Nobel Prize in Chemistry on October 10, 2001 in La Jolla, Ca. Sharpless received this year’s chemistry prize together with William S. Knowles of Monsanto and Ryoji Noyori of Nagoya University in Japan for the development of catalytic asymmetric 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, October 5, to the American Carolyn R. Bertozzi, the Danish Morten Meldal and the American K. Barry Sharpless.

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

Barry Sharpless, 81, is the fifth laureate to win two Nobel Prizes. He had already won it in 2001. Before him, Marie Curie had obtained physics (1903) and 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) and then peace (1962).

Ten years of graduates in Chemistry

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

  • 2021: Benjamin List (Germany) and David MacMillan (UK) for inventing a new way to make 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 developing “ molecular scissors » capable of modifying human genes, a revolutionary advance.
  • 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 in exploiting the mechanisms of evolution to create new and better proteins at 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 together with 3D images.
  • 2016: Jean-Pierre Sauvage (France), Fraser Stoddart (Great Britain) and Bernard Feringa (Netherlands), the parents of tiny” molecular machines » prefiguring 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 (USA), William Moerner (USA), and Stefan Hell (Germany) for improving the microscope, allowing it to see the infinitesimally small.
  • 2013: Martin Karplus (USA/Austria), Michael Levitt (USA/UK), and Arieh Warshel (USA/Israel) for developing 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 key advance for the pharmaceutical industry.

Upcoming rewards will be awarded according to the following schedule:

  • Literature, Thursday, October 6 at 1 p.m.
  • Peace, Friday, October 7 at 11 a.m.
  • Economy, Monday, October 10 at 11:45 a.m.

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