The 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry is shared by two long-time
NIH grantees, Dr. Robert H. Grubbs and Dr. Richard R. Schrock, along with Dr.
Yves Chauvin. The two researchers are honored for developing metal-containing
molecules that are used daily in the chemical and pharmaceutical
industries to make important compounds.
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences supported the
research of each scientist since 1983, spanning the period in which
their award-winning work was conducted and published. The institute
also helped support the scientists' training before they launched
their independent research careers. Over the years, NIGMS has provided
nearly $12 million to support Grubbs and Schrock.
"Today's Nobelists developed a technique to control metathesis,
a chemical reaction that makes it possible for two chemical entities
to switch places, and create completely novel molecules," said
NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni in an Oct. 5 statement. "Because
of their work, metathesis has become one of organic chemistry's
most important reactions and is used to create new materials and
pharmaceuticals in an effective, efficient and environmentally
The two scientists worked independently to develop molecules,
called catalysts, that facilitate metathesis. The catalysts, one
developed by Schrock in 1990 and the other by Grubbs in 1992, allow
chemists to harness metathesis to make materials ranging from medicines
to bulletproof vests.
Since 1954, NIH has supported the work of 36 Nobel laureates in