K. Barry Sharpless, professor of chemistry at Scripps Research.

The American Institute of Chemists (AIC) has awarded Scripps Research’s K. Barry Sharpless, PhD, the 2023 Gold Medal. The award recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in chemistry or chemical engineering across the United States. The award will be presented in association with the Science History Institute at the Curious Histories Fest in June 2023, an annual celebration of science, history, exploration, and experimentation.

The W.M. Keck Professor of Chemistry, Sharpless has focused his career on finding new tools and developing better general methods for exploring the chemical universe. Sharpless most recently shared the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his groundbreaking research on “click chemistry,” the method he developed for easily and reliably building new molecules and discovering new chemical functions. He also shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his chirally catalyzed oxidation reactions, making him the second scientist ever to win two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry. Together, his breakthroughs have transformed academic research and industrial practices in drug discovery, bioimaging and material science, just to name a few.

In addition to the AIC Gold Medal and his two Nobel Prizes, Sharpless is the recipient of a distinguished list of awards and honors that speak to the impact of his work. These include the Sir Derek Barton Gold Medal and Horizon Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry and the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.