The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been won by Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, who was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of St Andrews in 2010, alongside Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Ben Feringa for “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.”
The three men were awarded the most prestigious of awards for creating machines so small that they have applications which can transform the field of medicine. These molecular machines have the potential to apply medicines from within the body, such as by specifically targetting cancer cells. The winners will also share prize money of 8 million Swedish Krona (£744,000).
Sir Fraser was born in Edinburgh in 1942 and educated at Stewart’s Melville College. He went on to study at the University of Edinburgh, where he received a Bsc in Chemistry in 1964 and a Phd in 1966. In 2008, he joined the Chemistry faculty at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA, as a member of the board of trustees, where he remains. He also serves as Director of the Center for Chemistry of Integrated Systems.
Sir Fraser was awarded his honorary doctorate from St Andrews in 2010 “in recognition of his major contributions to Chemistry” alongside the likes of the late Arnold Palmer who received an honorary Doctor of Laws. Sir Fraser has been honoured by many other universities including Trinity College, Dublin, the University of Sheffield and the University of Birmingham. In 2007 he was appointed a Knight Bachelor after having been named in the New Year’s Honours list.
I for one am proud that our University had the foresight to honour this man before the Nobel Committee did, and I am sure we would all like to congratulate him and his colleagues on their ground-breaking research.