NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Grantee Shares Chemistry Nobel

Sir J. Fraser Stoddart
Sir J. Fraser Stoddart

The 2016 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to NIH grantee Sir J. Fraser Stoddart of Northwestern University. He shares the award with Dr. Jean-Pierre Sauvage of the University of Strasbourg, France, and Dr. Bernard L. Feringa of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, for their design and production of molecular machines.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said their work has “miniaturized machines and taken chemistry to a new dimension.”

Molecular machines are tiny molecules with controllable movements that can perform a task when energy is added. The machines are a thousand times thinner than a strand of hair. These machines may be used in the development of new materials, sensors and create energy-storage mechanisms too tiny to be seen with the naked eye.

“Another application of these molecular machines could be delivering drugs within the body, for example, by applying them directly to cancer cells,” said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins. “NIH is proud to have supported this work.”

The National Cancer Institute began supporting Stoddart in 2010 and has provided more than $2 million in funding. 

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