They have been awarded the prize “for the directed evolution of enzymes” and ”for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.”
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 with one half to Frances H. Arnold “for the directed evolution of enzymes” and the other half jointly to George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter ”for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.”
A press release from the Academy reads: “The 2018 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have taken control of evolution and used it for purposes that bring the greatest benefit to humankind. Enzymes produced through directed evolution are used to manufacture everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals. Antibodies evolved using a method called phage display can combat autoimmune diseases and in some cases cure metastatic cancer.”
Dr. Arnold and Dr. Smith are American, while Dr. Winter is British.
“One half of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Frances H. Arnold. In 1993, she conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes, which are proteins that catalyse chemical reactions. Since then, she has refined the methods that are now routinely used to develop new catalysts,” said the release.
“The other half of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is shared by George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter. In 1985, George Smith developed an elegant method known as phage display, where a bacteriophage — a virus that infects bacteria — can be used to evolve new proteins,” it added.