Professor Frances Hamilton Arnold, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, USA, celebrates her 65th birthday on July 25, 2021. Arnold’s research focuses on engineering enzymes to catalyze reactions not known in biology. She uses directed evolution to generate new enzymes to solve problems for applications in, e.g., medicine and alternative energy. These methods, which rely on evolution instead of “rational” human design, are now routinely used to develop new catalysts. In 2018, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was divided, with one half being awarded to Frances H. Arnold “for the directed evolution of enzymes”.
Frances H. Arnold, born in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, in 1956, studied mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, USA. After receiving her B.Sc. in 1979, she worked in Brazil and at the Solar Energy Research Institute in Colorado, USA. She received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in 1985. After postdoctoral research in biophysical chemistry at UC Berkeley, she joined the faculty at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, USA. Currently, she is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at Caltech.
Among many other awards, she has received the 2011 Draper Prize, the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011, the Emanuel Merck Lectureship 2013, and the Millennium Technology Prize in 2016. She is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the U.S.National Academy of Medicine, the American Philosophical Society, and the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
- Origin and Control of Chemoselectivity in Cytochrome c Catalyzed Carbene Transfer into Si–H and N–H bonds,
M. Garcia-Borràs, S. B. Jennifer Kan, R. D. Lewis, A. Tang, G. Jimenez-Osés, F. H. Arnold, K. N. Houk,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 7114–7123.
- New-to-nature chemistry from old protein machinery: carbene and nitrene transferases,
Z. Liu, F. H. Arnold,
Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 2021, 69, 43–51.
- Biocatalytic Transformations of Silicon—the Other Group 14 Element,
N. S. Sarai, B. J. Levin, J. M. Roberts, D. E. Katsoulis, F. H. Arnold,
ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 944–953.
- Directed Evolution: Bringing New Chemistry to Life,
F. H. Arnold,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 57, 4143–4148.
- Olefin Cyclopropanation via Carbene Transfer Catalyzed by Engineered Cytochrome P450 Enzymes,
P. S. Coelho, E. M. Brustad, A. Kannan, F. H. Arnold,
Science 2012, 339, 307–310.
- Exploring protein fitness landscapes by directed evolution,
P. A. Romero, F. H. Arnold,
Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 2009, 10, 866–876.
- Engineering microbial consortia: a new frontier in synthetic biology,
K. Brenner, L. You, F. H. Arnold,
Trends Biotechnol. 2008, 26, 483–489.
Also of Interest
- Design by Evolution: Bringing New Chemistry to Life,
Meeting the 2018 Chemistry Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold and learning about her research field
- Directed Evolution Used to Create Chiral Lactams,
Engineered enzymes convert C–H bonds efficiently and selectively into C–N bonds
- Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018,
The prize was awarded to Frances H. Arnold, George P. Smith, and Sir Gregory P. Winter for their work on directed evolution
- Frances Arnold Awarded Emanuel Merck Lectureship 2013,
Professor Frances Arnold, Caltech, USA, has been awarded the Emanuel Merck Lectureship and will deliver a special public lecture
- Interview with Frances H. Arnold — Design by Evolution,
Caltech Professor Frances H. Arnold sees laboratory evolution designing biology as solution to human problems