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Frances H. Arnold, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2001
For developing and advancing directed evolution of enzymes and pathways and its application to biochemical conversions.

Enzyme evolved that can perform reactions new to nature

Via Chemistry World | January 10, 2019

Directed evolution has been used to create an enzyme that is capable of forming carbon–carbon bonds in a way that no natural enzyme can. The team, which includes directed evolution pioneer and 2018 chemistry Nobel laureate Frances Arnold, hopes that this strategy can be used to selectively functionalise C–H bonds in a more environmentally friendly manner without the need for precious metals.

C–H activation is regarded as one of the most important strategies in molecular synthesis, as it can unlock a wide range of organic molecules to make drugs and new materials. However, selectively functionalising C–H bonds is a complicated challenge that is usually carried out with precious metal catalysts under harsh conditions in organic solvents… Continue reading.

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Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to a Woman for the Fifth Time in History

Via New York Times | October 3, 2018

Since 1901, when the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was first awarded, 177 people have captured the honor. On Wednesday, Frances H. Arnold became only the fifth woman to be awarded the prize.

Dr. Arnold, 62, an American professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, earned the award for her work with the directed evolution of enzymes.

She shared this year’s chemistry Nobel — worth close to $1 million — with George P. Smith, 77, and Gregory P. Winter, 67. Dr. Arnold received half of the prize, and Dr. Smith and Dr. Winter split the other half… Continue reading.

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Frances Arnold, 2011 National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Via National Science & Technology Medals Foundation | January 10, 2011

For pioneering research on biofuels and chemicals that could lead to the replacement of pollution-generating materials.

Frances Arnold has never cared much for ‘tradition.’ As a high schooler, she moved into her own apartment and paid the bills as a waitress and cab driver. As a chemical engineer and biochemist, she has found a groundbreaking way to harness her fierce independence and drive to succeed.

Arnold specializes in the creation of new proteins with an eye towards those that have applications in medicine and clean energy. What makes her stand out in her field is that rather than meticulously create proteins piece by painstaking piece, Arnold has come up with a way to take over from nature and direct evolution.. Continue reading.

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