Not satisfied with biology’s vast catalyst repertoire, we create new enzyme catalysts and expand the chemistry of life. We use the most powerful biological design process, evolution, to optimize existing enzymes and invent new ones, thereby circumventing our profound ignorance of how sequence encodes function. With a little insight from chemistry, we can generate enzymes for transformations that are unknown in biology. These new-to-nature enzymes increase the scope of molecules and materials we can build using synthetic biology and move us closer to a sustainable world where human-invented chemistry will be genetically encoded.
Dr. Arnold is Linus Pauling professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and director of Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center. Dr. Arnold’s lab pioneered directed evolution to create new enzymes that catalyze non-biological reactions with high efficiencies and selectivities. Dr. Arnold was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her work on directed evolution of enzymes.
For details of her research and recent publication, please visit HERE