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Biological Chemistry

Arthur C. Cope Award: Carolyn R. Bertozzi

Recipients are honored for contributions of major significance to chemistry

by Linda Wang
January 9, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 2

Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Mugshot of Carolyn Bertozzi.
Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Sponsor: Arthur C. Cope Fund

Citation: For pioneering the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, and for its innovative applications to the field of glycobiology.

Current position: Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University

Education: A.B., chemistry, Harvard University; Ph.D., chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Bertozzi on the biggest research challenge she has had to overcome: “Straddling interfaces between scientific disciplines that prioritize different kinds of problems and value different modes of intervention. This can make it hard, for example, to convince grant review panels to fund a proposal, or journal editors to publish a paper. It takes significant patience and persistence, sometimes, but it’s worth the effort!”

What her colleagues say: “Bertozzi has pioneered a field called bioorthogonal chemistry, and has applied this novel chemistry to install artificial sugars on the surface of living cells. The approach allowed her to study the role sugars play in diseases like cancer and inflammation, and to target specific cells in a living body for imaging or drug delivery applications.”—Chaitan Khosla, Stanford University


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