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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2022 was awarded to Caroline Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless.
Scientists introduced and put into practice the so-called “click chemistry,” in which molecular building blocks quickly and efficiently join together, according to the Nobel Committee.
Barry Sharpless and Morten Meldal laid the foundation for click chemistry, and Carolyn Bertozzi took it to the next level and successfully used it in living organisms.
Pharmaceutical research is often associated with the artificial reproduction of complex natural molecules with medicinal properties. As a result, many molecular structures were invented, but this process took a long time and cost a lot.
“This year's Chemistry Prize is about keeping things simple and working with what's easy and simple. Functional molecules can even be built in a direct way”, – says Johan Okvist, head of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.
Barry Sharpless, who has already received his second Nobel Prize in Chemistry, introduced the concept of click chemistry in 2000, according to which reactions occur quickly and avoid unwanted by-products.
Shortly thereafter, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless independently introduced a chemical reaction that is now widely used in the development of pharmaceuticals.
Carolyn Bertozzi developed click reactions that work inside living beings. organisms and chemistry-free cells.
These reactions are now used around the world to study cells and track biological processes. This technology is being used in cancer drugs that are currently undergoing clinical trials.
“Click chemistry and bioorthogonal reactions have taken chemistry into the era of functionalism. This brings the greatest benefit to humanity”, – say in the Nobel Committee.
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