Two Americans and a Briton won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry Wednesday for harnessing the power of evolution to generate novel proteins used in everything from environmentally friendly detergents to cancer drugs.
The fruits of this work include the world’s top-selling prescription medicine -the antibody injection Humira sold by AbbVie for treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology, George Smith from the University of Missouri and Gregory Winter of Britain’s MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology were awarded the prize for pioneering science in enzymes and antibodies.
Arnold, the only fifth woman to win a chemistry Nobel, was awarded half of the nine million Swedish crown one milion dollars prize while Smith and Winter shared the other half.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Arnold had transformed science by using the principles of evolution genetic change and selection and to evolve new types of proteins very fast.