Congratulations from the Farm and beyond

Colleagues, students, and Stanford leadership celebrate Carolyn Bertozzi’s Nobel Prize in chemistry.

“Throughout her career, Bertozzi has relentlessly pursued research driven by her curiosity, and it has paid off. She courageously took on projects that others might deem too risky, and her trailblazing work put the field of glycoscience research on the map. Her ‘blue-sky’ question: Is it possible to conduct organic chemistry reactions in living organisms? led her to invent the technique she named ‘bioorthogonal chemistry’ that earned her the Nobel Prize. Any one of her achievements would be extraordinary on their own, but Bertozzi is also a model mentor and champion of diversity in STEM. Bertozzi’s receipt of this prize is so well deserved, and I offer her my heartfelt congratulations.”
—Debra Satz, Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences

“Carolyn Bertozzi has transformed our understanding of how the human body functions on a molecular level. Her establishment of bioorthogonal chemistry has paved the way for revolutionary innovations in treatments and therapies for the most serious diseases, exemplifying the bridge between basic scientific research and its translation to human health. A consummate scientist, Carolyn’s curiosity, collegiality, and relentless pursuit of discovery place her firmly in the top echelons of her field, inspiring colleagues and students around the world to push the boundaries of scientific knowledge. I wholeheartedly congratulate her for this well-deserved honor.”
—Lloyd Minor, MD, Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Professor and Dean of Stanford School of Medicine

“Carolyn embodies team science, and under her directorship, Sarafan ChEM-H has recruited top researchers, trained scholars, and launched collaborative research labs to foster an interdisciplinary environment and accelerate human health research. I hope young chemists, especially young children (or people) can be inspired by Carolyn’s passion for research and her career of service as an educator and ambassador of science.”
—Kam Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research

“I helped recruit her to Stanford. From our very first conversation, it was clear to both of us that one of the reasons I was so keen on recruiting her to Stanford was not just because of her scientific strengths and accomplishments, but because of her characteristics and suitability as the eventual leader of an institute called ChEM-H that I had helped the university build over the years. This was back in 2014, when ChEM-H was just an apple in the eye in most people’s minds and we had long conversations about why ChEM-H was not just important, but also timely for an institution like Stanford. Through those conversations, it became clear to me that I was indeed talking to the ideal, future leader of ChEM-H.”
—Chaitan Khosla, Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor in the School of Engineering

“Carolyn clearly has that command of fundamental organic chemistry that allows her to see opportunities when they arise. I think she’s also very well read and she knows the literature very well. She knows what other people are doing. She makes an effort to understand what they’re doing. She’s very generous with her ideas. She reaches out to connect with other people and to connect her ideas with their ideas and that leads to new opportunities for both sides of that interaction. She’s just a very imaginative person.”
—David Tirrell, Provost and Ross McCollum–William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech

“What’s remarkable is her ability to connect with pretty much the entire spectrum of people. … If you talk to her former students, they’ll tell you that they always felt like they had her complete attention at any time that they were in a conversation. She has this ability to both remember what people are doing, help them with what they’re doing, but connect with them as human beings.”
—Michael A. Marletta, Professor of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley

“Carolyn is an amazing scientist and that’s what this Nobel Prize is recognizing. But everyone is so excited that she has finally won this prize because she’s just so much more than an amazing scientist. She’s an incredible teacher, mentor, advocate. Carolyn has been such an important member of the community. She has trained hundreds of scientists and paved the way for many people to be successful, including women and members of the LGBTQ communities. She has really been a leader for all of these groups of scientists over her career and she is a very fearless leader!”
—Ellen Sletten, former graduate student, now an associate professor at UCLA

“She’s just very dynamic and very down-to-earth. She’s enthusiastic and you would never know that she’s this super scientist unless you start talking to her about the science. She’s a really approachable person and very interested in her people and people that she works with and people she interacts with.”
—Matthew Bogyo, professor of pathology and of microbiology and immunology and, by courtesy, of chemical and systems biology

“I appreciate that Carolyn gives a lot of independence to her students while being supportive. As graduate students in the lab, we get the rare opportunity to explore many different research areas and work on projects that interest us the most. This unique environment allows her mentees to smoothly transition into becoming independent scientists after their time in the Bertozzi lab.”
—Green Ahn, current PhD student in Bertozzi’s lab

“You could tell that momentous science was happening in her lab. Not only did bioorthogonal chemistry create an entirely new field of research, but over time, she shaped that field to directly benefit humanity.”
—Fred Tomlin, PhD ’18, former graduate student

“Carolyn has an uncanny ability to make her students feel valued and motivated to perform high-impact research. This certainly was my experience in her lab. Carolyn gave me the flexibility to explore research directions beyond the traditional basic science route, and even encouraged me to nurture international partnerships.”
—Mireille Kamariza, PhD ’19, former grad student in the lab, currently at the Harvard Society of Fellows