Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry. Click chemistry – independently reported in 2002 by Meldal and Sharpless – reacts two molecules together in a simple and efficient way. The practical and reliable nature of click reactions swiftly made them popular for the synthesis of small well-defined molecules as well as extended materials such as polymers. The utility of the click chemistry concept was successfully demonstrated beyond the reaction flask by Bertozzi, who showed that it could be applied in living systems to, for example, probe glycans on cell surfaces. By designing these reactions to be biocompatible they do not interfere with the chemistry of natural systems and in this way has underpinned the burgeoning field of bioorthogonal chemistry.

In this Collection, Nature Portfolio recognizes the achievements of the Laureates in a selection of research, review, news and opinion articles that highlight the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry over the past two decades.

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