On 5 October, the recipients of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Chemistry were announced: Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless from the United States as well as Morten Meldal from Denmark received the honour jointly.
The prestigious scientific award was given in recognition of discovering the foundations for a simple method of connecting molecule blocks together relying on the simplicity of connecting azides with alkynes. This is an achievement on a functional field of chemistry, dubbed “click chemistry”.
This is considered as a significant achievement, as it provides a potential for the creation of complex, high fidelity molecular structures without the often cumbersome need for detailed planning and optimised conditions. According to the Swedish Academy of Sciences, “even if click chemistry cannot provide exact copies of natural molecules, it will be possible to find molecules that fulfil the same functions. Combining simple chemical building blocks makes it possible to create an almost endless variety of molecules: (…) click chemistry could generate pharmaceuticals that were as fit for purpose as those found in nature, and which could be produced on an industrial scale.”