Caltech Scientist Wins Nobel Prize In Chemistry

Pat Wise
October 7, 2018

The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to two researchers from the United States and Japan for advances in discovering how the body's immune system can fight off the scourge of cancer.

Frances Arnold, a Caltech professor who serves on the board of directors of Illumina, the influential San Diego life sciences company, has been chosen to share this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: according to the New York Times, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel prizes, announced last week that it planned to change its nomination guidelines to make more room for diversity in the future. 'This work has led to new chemical tools that can be used for everything from environmentally friendly detergents to the creation of new biofuels and pharmaceuticals'.

Winter used Smith's phage display method to create new kinds of antibodies.

Called "monoclonal antibodies", they include the rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, which had the biggest sale worldwide of any drug a year ago at £14billion.

This, said Claes Gustafsson, chair of Nobel Chemistry Committee, was applying the "principles of Darwin in the test tube". Its content is created separately from USA TODAY. Even though Winter didn't know whether the treatment would work, the patient was grateful for whatever more time it would allow her to spend with her husband, who was also sick.

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Reached at his home in Columbia, Miss., Smith was quick to credit the work of others in earning his prize.

In the 1980s, Arnold tried to rebuild enzymes, but because they are very complex molecules built from different amino acids that can be infinitely combined, she found it hard to remodel the enzymes' genes in order to give them new properties. Arthur Ashkin, an American physicist who was awarded the first half of the prize for inventing optical tweezers, told the newspaper, "It's all about the light".

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"They might say, "It's not science" or that 'Gentlemen don't do random mutagenesis.' But I'm not a scientist, and I'm not a gentleman, so it didn't bother me at all".

Six months after being honoured by Business Weekly and Cambridge Enterprise with our inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, Sir Greg has become the 107th affiliate of Cambridge to be awarded a Nobel Prize.

Smith, 77, developed a method to evolve new proteins and Winter, 67, used the method to evolve antibodies, which are disease-fighting proteins in the blood. This year's Nobel laureates have taken the next step.

Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter will get the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2018.

HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA via Getty Images Biochemical engineer Frances Arnold, after receiving the Millennium Technology Prize in 2016.

The first drug based on this work is used against rheumatoid arthritis, a skin condition known as psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.

"We don't have anything specifically but I do think we want to celebrate as much as we can in any way we can these types of successes", Cartwright said.

He has authored and coauthored more than 50 articles in top scientific journals, and he was selected by the American Society of Microbiology for its 2007 Promega Biotechnology Research Award.

For the first time in decades, the Nobel line-up will not feature a literature award this year after a rift within the Swedish Academy over a rape scandal involving the husband of a board member left it unable to select a victor.

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