Frances H. Arnold, Enzyme Engineering Award for 2007

Prof. Frances H. Arnold

The 2007 Enzyme Engineering Award, presented in the name of Engineering Conferences International and the Genencor division of Danisco A/S, was awarded to Professor Frances H. Arnold of the California Institute of Technology.

Professor Arnold is the Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry at Caltech.  Professor Arnold pioneered directed evolution, an approach to protein engineering that is used in thousands of laboratories world-wide and enables many industrial and medical biotechnology applications. Her work on evolutionary engineering started in the late 1980s; in the intervening years she has refined the methods and applied them to a wide range of problems. Her innovation represents a fundamental paradigm shift in the engineering of proteins, metabolic pathways, and even whole organisms.

Professor Arnold’s research group studies how proteins evolve, and develops methods of directed evolution, which they apply to engineering novel enzymes, biosynthetic pathways, and synthetic genetic regulatory circuits. She received her B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1979 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985. Following post-doctoral research in Chemistry at U. C. Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology, she joined the faculty of Caltech’s Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in 1987. Professor Arnold has co-authored more than 200 publications and edited several books on protein engineering and laboratory protein evolution. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000 and the Institute of Medicine in 2004. Her recent awards include the 2007 FASEB Excellence in Science Award and the 2005 Olin-Garvan Medal of the American Chemical Society. She serves on the Science Advisory Boards of Gevo, Amyris, Fluidigm and Mascoma and has more than 30 patents issued or pending.

Professor Arnold delivered the Enzyme Engineering Award lecture during the Enzyme Engineering XIX conference, September 23-28, 2007 in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada.

Enzyme Engineering Award The Enzyme Engineering Award has been presented at the biennial International Enzyme Engineering Conference since 1983. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of enzyme engineering, through basic or applied research in academia or industry. The award is sponsored by Genencor and includes an engraved piece of Steuben glass.

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