The Lemelson-MIT Program, a partnership between the Lemelson Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has announced chemical biologist Carolyn Bertozzi as the winner of the 2010 Lemelson-MIT Prize.
The $500,000 prize recognizes outstanding inventors and innovators who have transformed the world while encouraging young people to pursue creative lives and careers through innovation.
Bertozzi, a University of California, Berkeley professor and the director of the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is a pioneer in the field of biotechnology whose work has led to significant developments in the ability to engineer living cells and the proteins they produce with defined chemical properties. Among other things, she invented the first bio-orthogonal chemical reaction, a technology for labeling bio-molecules in living cells or animals, enabling researchers to specifically target cells and their functions for gene delivery and anti-tumor diagnostics.
"Carolyn Bertozzi takes scientific development to a new level; beyond her extraordinary gift as a researcher and innovator, she collaborates with her students to push into new frontiers," said Michael J. Cima, faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. "As a mentor, she engages those around her to develop new, creative ideas, ensuring a future pipeline of scientists, inventors and policy makers."