Hammes-Schiffer wins Royal Society of Chemistry award

Hammes-Schiffer has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Bourke Award for her work describing proton-coupled electron-transfer reactions and enzyme catalysis.
Sharon Hammes-Schiffer
Sharon Hammes-Schiffer

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, the John Gamble Kirkwood Professor of Chemistry in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is the 2020 winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Bourke Award.

Hammes-Schiffer won the honor for her development and applications of analytical theories and computational methods for describing proton-coupled electron-transfer reactions and enzyme catalysis.

The award, which comes with £2,000 in prize money, is presented annually by theLondon-based Royal Society of Chemistry to academics outside of the U.K.

I am honored to have been selected for the 2020 Bourke Award, which has a longstanding tradition of celebrating the fields of physical chemistry and chemical physics,” Hammes-Schiffer said.

Her research describing how electrons and protons move during chemical reactions has guided the design of catalysts for solar energy storage, explained important aspects of how enzymes work, and shown how enzymes can be mutated to work more effectively.

Some of the enzymes studied by Hammes-Schiffer are responsible for DNA synthesis, repair, and replication and are related to cancer prevention and treatment.

The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport, and everything in between,” said Helen Pain, acting chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry. “In recognizing the work of Professor Hammes-Schiffer, we are also recognizing the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day.”

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