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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: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline

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September 10, 2012

Nobel Season Begins!

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Posted by Derek

As we head into Nobel Season, Chembark and Wavefunction have their latest odds up. The biology side of the chemistry prize seems to be getting a lot of betting this year, with nuclear hormone signaling, chaperone proteins, oncogenes, Western/Southern blotting, and various bioinorganic discoveries all being mentioned. I'll do a full post on my own predictions (and what I wouldn't like to see get the prize), but there's a lot of good material in those two posts to start thinking about.

Comments (19) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Chemical News


COMMENTS

1. nitrosonium on September 10, 2012 11:41 AM writes...

i guess we got "ours" (the organic bunch) two years ago with Heck/Suzuki/Negishi. that will have to do for the real chemists out there for quite some time. my vote is for Langer. i don't think GW will ever get one...sigh

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2. Student on September 10, 2012 11:47 AM writes...

As a Biologist I feel a bit guilty about all of the molecular biology taking thunder from hardcore chemistry.

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3. KC Nicolaou on September 10, 2012 12:31 PM writes...

C'mon baby!

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4. MLBpitcher and Medicinal Chemist on September 10, 2012 1:09 PM writes...

Well, Derek Lowe isn't going to win the Cy Young this year.

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5. student on September 10, 2012 1:26 PM writes...

Please god, not another nobel for a solved crystal structure. Solving protein structures from good crystals is trivial now, and growing crystals is a tedious fishing expedition--a very important and worthy goal, but not up to the intellectual accomplishment implied by a Nobel Prize.

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6. Question on September 10, 2012 1:45 PM writes...

@ 1. nitrosonium--> "GW" ?

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7. nitrosonium on September 10, 2012 1:49 PM writes...

GW = George Whitesides

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8. Anonymous Academic on September 10, 2012 8:14 PM writes...

@5. student: "Please god, not another nobel for a solved crystal structure. Solving protein structures from good crystals is trivial now, and growing crystals is a tedious fishing expedition--a very important and worthy goal, but not up to the intellectual accomplishment implied by a Nobel Prize."

As a crystallographer, I second this. I don't think anyone would begrudge Brian Kobilka (for instance) a trip to Stockholm, but I'm hard-pressed to think of any recent crystal structure that was transformative, in the way that the first-ever crystal structure was, or the first-ever membrane protein structure. There's lots of really first-rate work being done in the field, but I always thought Nobel prizes should be for revolutionary insights and true works of genius.

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9. (Name redacted - spoofed) on September 10, 2012 8:26 PM writes...

I nominate Prof. Schrock at MIT!

His olefin metathesis in polymer chemistry is truly novel. Its basically involves the application of new alkylidene complexes to ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) reactions.

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10. Anesh on September 11, 2012 7:00 AM writes...

I nominate Jim Collins, Michael Elowitz and Alexander VanOudenaarden for their pioneering synthetic biology research using DNA, RNA and protein chemistry to create synthetic gene circuits.

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11. nitrosonium on September 11, 2012 8:12 AM writes...

Sarah, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but Prof. Schrock already won a Nobel back in 2005 for his work in olefin metathesis.

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12. Am I Lloyd peptide on September 11, 2012 9:25 AM writes...

What are the chances that someone who trained with a future Nobel Laureate never got the memo that their advisor won a Nobel Prize?

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13. nitrosonium on September 11, 2012 9:40 AM writes...

i guess i have to vet everyone in the comments section prior to commentary. very efficient use of time

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14. Abraham Lincoln on September 11, 2012 11:25 AM writes...

@14 nitrosonium, "i guess i have to vet everyone in the comments section prior to commentary"

That's what I've been saying all along.

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15. Anon on September 11, 2012 11:47 AM writes...

@5. and @8 both Kobilka and Stevens held lectures at stockholm university in june (GPCR structures). I am sure it means nothing with regard to their chances of winning, and certainly they were not invited by the swedish academy of sciences... but they have already been to stockholm this year.

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16. hn on September 11, 2012 3:55 PM writes...

@5,8: The prizes for the ribosome and potassium channel were not just for solved crystal structures, but structures that were culminations of decades of research into structure and function.

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17. Am I Lloyd peptide on September 11, 2012 7:29 PM writes...

There are structures and there are structures. Solving the structure of the ribosome and the potassium ion channel was a big deal because these structures also provided insights into the functions of these key molecular machines. IMHO GPCRS, as important as they are, don't measure up to either of these two.

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18. Anonymous Academic on September 12, 2012 10:37 AM writes...

@17. Am I Lloyd peptide: "Solving the structure of the ribosome and the potassium ion channel was a big deal because these structures also provided insights into the functions of these key molecular machines."

And were arguably justifiable for Nobel prizes on those grounds, although I tend to agree with the complaint that the ribosome field was too wide to pick just three people. Anyway, I'm hard-pressed to think of anything else of that significance, which was my point.

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19. AnonyBark on September 26, 2012 12:52 AM writes...

How do we factor in ‘buying the prize’ into these predictions? It’s well known that many contenders lavish nobel committee members with lavish gifts and travel to exotic conferences. In his recent book tour, Erling Norrby (oft novel prize committee member) happily recounts his all expense paid trip on Craig Venter’s around the world yacht trip to ‘collect water samples’.

How many of you out there have seen committee members lavished with gifts and attention to win their favor in the voting booth…politics is politics even with the Nobel

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