Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan have been awarded the Nobel Prize 2021 in Chemistry
The development of asymmetric organocatalysis by Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan earned them the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The team created a precise new tool for molecular construction, which has had a significant impact on pharmaceutical research and has made chemistry more environmentally friendly. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, bestows the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Catalysts are essential tools for chemists, but for a long time, researchers believed that there were only two types of catalysts: metals and enzymes. According to the Academy, Benjamin List, a professor at Germany’s Max Plack Institute, and David MacMillan, who is now at Princeton University, independently developed a third type of catalysis in 2000. It is known as asymmetric organocatalysis, and it is based on small organic molecules.
“This concept for catalysis is as simple as it is ingenious, and the fact is that many people have wondered why we didn’t think of it earlier,” says Nobel Committee for Chemistry chair Johan qvist.
“Benjamin List and David MacMillan remain leaders in the field and have shown that organic catalysts can be used to drive multitudes of chemical reactions. Using these reactions, researchers can now more efficiently construct anything from new pharmaceuticals to molecules that can capture light in solar cells. In this way, organocatalysts are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind,” According to a statement issued by the Academy.
“Chemistry was the most important science for Alfred Nobel’s own work. The development of his inventions as well as the industrial processes he employed were based upon chemical knowledge. Chemistry was the second prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will,” According to the Academy.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2020 was shared by Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing. The researchers had discovered one of the most cutting-edge tools in gene technology: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. The technology has had a transformative impact on the life sciences, resulting in new cancer therapies.
The news comes just one day after the Academy awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics to Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi for their groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems. The researchers contributed to a better understanding of global complex systems such as climate.
So far, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has recognised 186 people for their contributions in the field, with seven of them being women. The list of laureates includes Marie Curie, who received the Nobel Prize for her contributions to the advancement of chemistry through the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, the isolation of radium, and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.
The prize is worth ten million Swedish kronor, which will be split equally between the laureates.