Chemistry Nobel goes to 3 scientists for development of “Click Chemistry” | Daily News

Chemistry Nobel goes to 3 scientists for development of “Click Chemistry”

SWEDEN: The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless on Wednesday for the development of click chemistry and bio-orthogonal chemistry. 

Dr. Bertozzi is the eighth woman to be awarded the prize, and Dr. Sharpless is the fifth scientist to be honoured with two Nobels, the committee noted.

The three chemists have been working independently since 2000 to create functional molecules that have “led to a revolution in how chemists think about linking molecules together,” the Nobel committee said.

Johan Aqvist, the chair of the chemistry committee, said that this year’s prize dealt with “not overcomplicating matters, instead working with what is easy and simple.”

“Click chemistry is almost like it sounds,” he said of a field whose name Dr. Sharpless coined in 2000. “It’s all about snapping molecules together. Imagine that you could attach small chemical buckles to different types of building blocks. Then you could link these buckles together and produce molecules of greater complexity and variation.”

Shortly after Dr. Sharpless coined the concept, both he and Dr. Meldal independently discovered a chemical reaction called “the copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition,” known today as the crown jewel of click chemistry.

“When this reaction was discovered, it was like opening the floodgates,” Olof Ramström, a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said in a briefing after the laureates were announced. “We were using it everywhere, to build everything.”

The Nobel committee said in a statement that “click chemistry and bio-orthogonal reactions have taken chemistry into the era of functionalism,” adding that “this is bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.”

The key was to find “good chemical buckles,” Dr. Aqvist said. “They have to react with each other, easily and specifically. Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless independently found the first perfect candidates that will easily snap together, and importantly they won’t snap with anything else.” - NEW YORK TIMES

 


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