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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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October 8, 2007

Nobel Season

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Posted by Derek

The Nobel in Medicine has gone this year to the inventors of gene-knockout techniques for mice, which seems well-deserved, considering how much has been learned through such experiments. This is, in fact, one of those discoveries that you'd think was already recognized by a Nobel if you hadn't been keeping count, which is as good a criterion as any. (It's rather odd, for example, that gene knockouts were recognized after RNA interference, don't you think, since a good ten or fifteen years separate the two in real life?)

Wednesday morning is the announcement of the Chemistry award, so I'm throwing open the gates of speculation, as I do every year around here. Our track record (mine and the predictions in the comments) has not been very good, but nobody has a good batting average when trying to read the minds of the Nobel committees. I feel pretty safe in saying that this year will be a "real" chemistry prize - we're one out of the last four, compared to overflow from the nonexistent Nobel in molecular and cell biology.

So, who's it going to be? Last year's uninformed gossip is here, and there's plenty more over at Chembark. Put your bets down, but only with money you can afford to lose. . .

Update: Still more speculation, and even more.

Comments (6) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Current Events


2. MTK on October 8, 2007 11:27 AM writes...

1999 was the last time a physical chemist won the award, so it might go that way.

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3. Lars on October 9, 2007 8:48 AM writes...

Maybe Buchwald and Hartwig will pick this one up...assuming of course that a pre-req for the Nobel is that your work can be reproduced in some kind of regular fashion and applied to problems in the real world...


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4. TWIC on October 9, 2007 12:35 PM writes...

buchwald and hartwig, but not heck? There is not a chance.

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5. MTK on October 9, 2007 4:17 PM writes...

I think Lars was being facetious.

The Nobel is a funny thing, because it based explicitly on a discovery, and not on a body of work. That's why total synthesis folks are at a severe disadvantage no matter how great the syntheses. What exactly is the "discovery"? I believe in Corey's case, the Committee put retrosynthetic analysis front and center.

So to get back to transition metal mediated cross-couplings, who then made the fundamental "discoveries"? I think Kagan would have to be there. It probably helps that many felt he got jobbed the year Knowles, Noyori, and Sharpless won. I guess Negishi, Suzuki, Heck, and Tsuji would be next choices, although 3 is the limit, so there are people that are going to go unrecognized.

It may not matter, however. They've already given one out for asymmetric catalysis and one for olefin metathesis, is there really room for another transition metal catalysis reaction?

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6. Loren Dewaratanawan on March 14, 2012 6:30 AM writes...

You truly allow it to be seem simple with you were presentation however have this topic for being really a feature i think A complimentary certainly in no way understand. It is apparently too complicated and in addition incredibly broad i think. I'm excited for the post, I most certainly attempt to help get the say goodbye of the usb ports!

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