Benjamin F. Cravatt III

Wolf Prize Laureate in Chemistry 2022

The 2022 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

is awarded to Professors Bassler, Bertozzi, and Cravatt

“for their seminal contributions to understanding the chemistry of cellular
communication and inventing chemical methodologies to study the role of
carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in such biological processes”.

 

Cravatt, the Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology and Professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. His research aims to understand proteins’ roles in human physiological and pathological processes and use this knowledge to identify novel therapeutic targets and drugs to treat diseases.

Cravatt was inspired to think about biology by his parents and credits his high school mathematics teachers for nurturing his interest in the quantitative sciences. Cravatt obtained his undergraduate education at Stanford University, receiving a B.Sc in Biology and a B.A. in History. He then received a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research
Institute (TSRI) in 1996 and joined the faculty at TSRI in 1997.

Bridging the fields of chemistry and biology, Cravatt and his research group have developed and applied technologies to discover biochemical pathways in mammalian biology and disease. Cravatt pioneered an approach to identify protein classes based on their activity. His multidisciplinary approach generates all tools and models required to assign molecular, cellular, and physiological functions to enzymes and, as an essential corollary, assess their suitability as therapeutic targets. He achieves a unique balance that cultivates the creation and rapid implementation of cutting-edge technologies to advance basic and translational science.

Cravatt’s work on the endocannabinoid system has radically changed the landscape of proteome analysis by demonstrating how innovative chemical methods can be used to broadly and deeply investigate protein function directly in native biological systems.

The chemical proteomic technology Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP), pioneered by Cravatt employs chemical probes to directly measure enzyme function. For example, a fluorescent label may be used to tag enzymes with certain chemical properties, allowing scientists to survey all active enzymes in a cell at once, and to determine
the targets of drugs in a global manner directly in living systems.

Cravatt has used this and related chemical proteomic technologies to conduct global analyses of protein activities and to elucidate the functions of several enzymes, including those linked to human cancers, neurological disorders, and the endocannabinoid system, which consists of lipid transmitters involved in appetite regulation, pain sensation, mood, memory, and other physiological processes.

“Benjamin Cravatt is awarded the Wolf prize for developing activity-based protein profiling, which has emerged as a powerful and widely used chemical proteomic strategy to characterize enzyme function in native biological systems. He used this approach to characterize numerous enzymes which play critical roles in human biology and disease, including the endocannabinoid hydrolases whose lipid products regulate communication between cells.”

Pamela Ronald

Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 2022

The Wolf Prize in Agriculture ‚2022‚ is awarded to professor Ronald

“for pioneering work on disease resistance and environmental stress tolerance in rice”.

 

Ronald, a distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis. She also serves as the director of grass genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute in Emeryville, California, and as the faculty director of the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy.

One of the greatest challenges of our time is to feed the growing population without further destroying the environment. Because most of the world’s farmland is already under cultivation and fresh water is scarce, increased food production must largely take place more efficiently. To produce a successful crop each year, farmers must employ strategies to combat pests, diseases, and environmental stresses, which reduce global yields by 30-60% each year.

Ronald’s lab studies genes that control resistance to disease and tolerance of environmental stress with the goal of improving food security for the world’s poorest farmers. Together with her collaborators, she has engineered rice for resistance to disease and tolerance to flooding, which seriously threatens rice crops in Asia and Africa.

Pamela Ronald has spent three decades studying rice, a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. Her discoveries show an advanced understanding of fundamental biological processes and enhance sustainable agriculture and food security. Ronald’s team isolated a gene that allows rice to survive two weeks of flooding and increases yield by 60% compared with conventional varieties. Her research facilitated the development of flood-tolerant rice varieties now grown by more than 6 million subsistence farmers in India and Bangladesh, where 4 million tons of rice, enough to feed 30 million people, is lost each year to flooding.

Ronald’s isolation of the Xa21 immune receptor in 1995, the first member of this important class of receptors to be identified, revealed a new mechanism with which plants and animals detect and respond to infection. In 2015, her team isolated and characterized the receptor-ligand, a microbial immunogen, that triggers both developmental and immunological responses in the host. These breakthrough studies continue to have implications for studies of infectious diseases of both plants and animals.

Ronald is widely recognized for innovative and effective public engagement with the goal of advancing agricultural sustainability. Ronald’s lectures and writings, and in particular her book with her husband, Raoul Adamchak, established a new paradigm where biotechnologies and organic agriculture are integrated as a base for sustainable farming, and as a way of coexistence for environmentalists and technologists.

Ferenc Krausz

Wolf Prize Laureate in Physics

The 2022 Wolf Prize in Physics

is awarded to professors L’Huillier, Corkum and Krausz

“for pioneering contributions to ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics”

 

Krausz, an Hungarian-Austrian physicist whose research team was the first to generate and measure attosecond light pulses and used them to capture electron motion inside atoms.

Krausz was awarded his MSc in Electrical Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology in 1985. His Ph.D. in Quantum Electronics is from the Vienna University of Technology, in 1991, and his “Habilitation” from the same university in 1993. He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering as Associate Professor in 1998 and became
a full Professor in 1999. In 2003 he was appointed a Director in the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany. Since 2004, he is a Professor of Physics and Chair of Experimental Physics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Krausz is fascinated by expeditions into ever smaller dimensions of space and time. As far back as the early 1990s, when he was working on his doctorate at the Vienna University of Technology, he was impressed by the idea to do so using extremely short pulses of light that new lasers were making possible at the time. The first attosecond pulses were generated and measured by Krausz’s group in the early 2000s. This allowed Krausz to make real-time observations of electron movements on atomic scales for the first time. Today, we are using such pulses to gain a better understanding of microscopic processes involving electrons, atoms, and molecules, and to find how they
affect the macroscopic worlds.

Krausz’s recent work at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics includes several exciting new applications. With his group, he attempts to use femtosecond and attosecond technology to analyze blood samples and to detect minute changes in their composition. The group investigates whether these changes are specific enough to allow diseases to be diagnosed, unambiguously, in their initial stages.

Krausz showed that the harmonic pulses have durations in the attosecond range. He also contributed to the generation of few-cycle laser pulses and the study of the time dependence of numerous atomic and molecular physics processes. He realized the feasibility of experiments with time resolution in the attosecond range. This has allowed the study of photoionization in the time-domain and evidenced Wigner-like time delays in the photoemission of electrons from atoms or molecules.

“Anne L’Huillier, Paul Corkum, and Ferenc Krausz share the 2022 Wolf Prize in Physics for pioneering and novel work in the fields of ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics and for demonstrating time-resolved imaging of electron motion in atoms, molecules, and solids. Each of them made crucial contributions, both to the technical development of attosecond physics and to its application to fundamental physics studies.”

Paul Corkum

Wolf Prize Laureate in Physics

The 2022 Wolf Prize in Physics 

is awarded to professors L’Huillier, Corkum and Krausz

“for pioneering contributions to ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics”

 

Corkum, a Canadian physicist, a leader, and a pioneer in the field of ultrafast laser spectroscopy. For three decades he has been a major source of insight regarding the great potential of this field. He is known primarily for his remarkable contributions to the field of high harmonic generation and for proposing intuitive models which helped to explain the complex phenomena associated with attosecond spectroscopy.

Corkum has stated that he owes his career to his high-school physics teacher, Anthony Kennett, who pushed him to prove everything. According to Corkum, in physics, that is what you want to do. Corkum grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick, a small port city on Canada’s east coast. The son of a fisherman and tugboat captain, he spent much of
his time around boats, sailing with his father, and working on various types of engines. Corkum started his career as a theoretical physicist. He graduated from Lehigh University, PA, U.S.A., with a PhD in theoretical physics in 1973. Later, during a postdoctoral interview at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), when asked “Why do you think you can work in experimental physics?” he replied, with confidence gained by his childhood experience that “it’s no problem, I can take the engine of a car completely apart, repair it and put it back together so it will work”. They hired him! Today, Corkum directs the Joint NRC/University of Ottawa Attosecond Science Laboratory and holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. He is a fellow of the Royal Societies of London and of Canada and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Science, the Austrian Academy of Science, and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Corkum established the understanding of high harmonic generation through his semiclassical re-collision model that underlies the formation of attosecond pulses. Under the influence of a strong laser field, an electron can tunnel ionize from an atomic or a molecular potential, accelerated, and then recombine, emitting high-order harmonics. The emitted harmonic spectrum is sensitive to the evolution in time of the atomic or molecular structure. The so-called high harmonic spectroscopy allowed him
to demonstrate the feasibility to image a molecular orbital via a tomographic reconstruction procedure.

“Anne L’Huillier, Paul Corkum, and Ferenc Krausz share the 2022 Wolf Prize in Physics for pioneering and novel work in the fields of ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics and for demonstrating time-resolved imaging of electron motion in atoms, molecules, and solids. Each of them made crucial contributions, both to the technical development of attosecond physics and to its application to fundamental physics studies.”

Carolyn R. Bertozzi

Wolf Prize Laureate in Chemistry 2022

The 2022 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

is awarded to Professors Bassler, Bertozzi, and Cravatt

“for their seminal contributions to understanding the chemistry of cellular communication and inventing chemical methodologies to study the role of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in such biological processes”.

 

Bertozzi, an American chemical biologist from Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is known for developing innovative technologies that have opened new avenues for biological discovery and therapeutic development.

From an early age, Bertozzi found herself naturally enthralled by science. Her father, who taught physics at MIT, encouraged her to explore technological tools from his projects and demonstrations. This resulted in an early enthusiasm for science that later fueled her drive to pursue the education necessary to become a leader in the field of biotechnology and a distinguished professor.

Bertozzi received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1988 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1993. After completing postdoctoral work at UCSF in cellular immunology, she joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. In June 2015, she joined the faculty at Stanford University, coincident with the launch of Stanford’s ChEM-H institute.

The cell membrane plays an essential role in protecting the cell from its extracellular environment. As such, extensive work has been devoted to studying its structure and function. Crucial intercellular processes, such as signal transduction and immune protection, are mediated by cell surface glycosylation, which is comprised of large biomolecules, including glycoproteins and glycosphingolipids.

Bertozzi’s research has focused on profiling changes in cell surface glycosylation. She invented the field of biorthogonal chemistry, which allows researchers to chemically modify mol¬ecules within living systems without interfering with native biochemical processes. Using biorthogonal chemistry, she has made fundamental breakthroughs in the understanding of the glycocalyx, the heavily glycosylated cell surface found on nearly every cell which serves as a mediator for cell-cell interactions.

Her pioneering work has opened up basic drug discovery and therapeutic targets associated with cancer, inflammation, bacterial infection, tuberculosis, and most recently COVID-19. These new therapeutic modalities include antibody-enzyme conjugates that can reshape the glycocalyx and lysosome-targeting chimeras (LYTACs)
that can degrade membrane-bound and extracellular targets. These unraveled the role of sugars in biology and in immuno-oncology. Bertozzi extensively commercialized these innovative technologies for both clinical and research applications.

Equally significant are her contributions to mentorship and diversity in the fields of chemistry and chemical biology. Carolyn’s commitment to mentorship is centered on her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM.

“Carolyn Bertozzi is awarded the Wolf Prize for pioneering biorthogonal chemistry and understanding glycocalyx, and its roles in both health and disease, thus allowing for bioimaging, chemoproteomics, and in-vivo drug delivery.”

Bonnie L. Bassler

Wolf Prize Laureate in Chemistry 2022

The 2022 Wolf Prize in Chemistry‚

is awarded to Professors Bassler, Bertozzi, and Cravatt

“for their seminal contributions to understanding the chemistry of cellular
communication and inventing chemical methodologies to study the role of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in such biological processes”.

 

Bassler, an American Professor, Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Just two decades ago, bacteria were besmirched as primitive entities. But research since then has proven otherwise. As an undergraduate in biochemistry, Bassler was disappointed when she was assigned to a project studying bacterial enzymes. She initially thought that bacteria were the simplest organisms but soon found out they are highly sophisticated. After completing her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, she joined the Agouron Institute in La Jolla, focusing her research on what is now called quorum sensing, the process by which bacterial cells communicate chemically.

Quorum sensing involves the production, release, and subsequent detection of chemical signal molecules called autoinducers. This process enables populations of bacteria to regulate gene expression, and therefore behavior, on a community-wide scale. It is wide-spread in the bacterial world, so understanding this process is fundamental to clinical and industrial microbiology and to understanding the development of higher organisms.

Bassler showed that bacteria are multilingual. Her studies are providing insight into intra- and inter-species communication, population-level cooperation, and the design principles underlying signal transduction and information processing at the cellular level. These investigations are also leading to synthetic strategies for controlling quorum sensing.

Therapeutics that interfere with quorum sensing may provide ways of combating drug-resistant infections. This approach manipulates the quorum-sensing conversation to either shut bacteria down when they’re doing things we don’t like or beef up their conversation when they’re doing something we do like. In other words, we make “bad” bacteria incapable of communication while enhancing the conversation between “good” bacteria. Her work has wide-ranging implications for developing novel antimicrobial therapeutics and the next generation of antibiotics.

“Bonnie Bassler is awarded the Wolf Prize for her work elucidating the role of chemical communication between bacteria. She has made important discoveries revealing how quorum sensing is used by bacteria both for virulence and for communicating across species.”

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto

Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 2022

Momoyo Kaijima & Yoshiharu Tsukamoto

“for their work that highlights the importance to architecture of its ethnographic and inhabitational characteristics, in their writings and practice”.

At a time of considerable world change, when social and cultural values have been questioned, these three are outstanding in challenging norms to advance the field of architecture and its wider influence. Whilst very different in their production, they share a common vital quality of bringing research, pedagogy and practice into critical confluence for the advancement of their field. In doing so, they reveal the degree to which art, science, and engagement with society, require values that can be interrogated and challenged, as a central part of their contribution. Conscious of the wider affects of architecture, each recipient embodies the idea of collaboration in varied ways, embracing geographic, cultural and methodological differences to be celebrated: excellence through diversity. With their radical architectural visions, they continue to be meaningful influencers of future architectural generations. They have developed the agency of architecture through an expanded field, in engaging politics, the city as the base for social action, and the imperative of reaching broader audiences.

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto was born in the Kanagawa Prefecture and received his Ph.D. in Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he is currently a professor.

Tsukamoto and Kaijima fostered their partnership after joining forces in competitions where they achieved many successes—so much so—that they decided to found Atelier Bow-Wow in which they continue to thrive.

The prolific work of this Japanese architectural team spans over three decades. They begin each architectural project with observation: the site, those who will eventually inhabit the building, the behavior of the people in the surroundings, shared spaces, resources, and climate. With all this in mind, they will then try to push “that which exists” a bit further to create a new phenomenon.

Since 1992 when Tsukamoto and Kaijima founded their practice, they have consistently shown themselves to be exceptional practitioners, bridging the relationship between research and practice, proposing alternative ways of making architecture focused on its social affects. With the publication of ‘Made In Tokyo’ (2001) the pioneering “Behaviorology” (2010) and ‘Architectural Ethnography’ (2018), they have developed a treatise on how to translate the liminal and in-between spaces of the city into opportunities for public engagement. With a practice that is predominantly residential and adeptly made, their work on behavior gives dominance to design strategies that work bottom-up, looking at human rituals as the basis for design opportunities. This was further tested in their post 2011 tsunami project reconstructing Momonoura village. They have profoundly influenced younger generations alternative human-centered approaches to the urban environment.

Momoyo Kaijima

Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 2022

Momoyo Kaijima & Yoshiharu Tsukamoto

“for their work that highlights the importance to architecture of its ethnographic and inhabitational characteristics, in their writings and practice”.

At a time of considerable world change, when social and cultural values have been questioned, these three are outstanding in challenging norms to advance the field of architecture and its wider influence. Whilst very different in their production, they share a common vital quality of bringing research, pedagogy and practice into critical confluence for the advancement of their field. In doing so, they reveal the degree to which art, science, and engagement with society, require values that can be interrogated and challenged, as a central part of their contribution. Conscious of the wider affects of architecture, each recipient embodies the idea of collaboration in varied ways, embracing geographic, cultural and methodological differences to be celebrated: excellence through diversity. With their radical architectural visions, they continue to be meaningful influencers of future architectural generations. They have developed the agency of architecture through an expanded field, in engaging politics, the city as the base for social action, and the imperative of reaching broader audiences.

Momoyo Kaijima is Tokyo-born and completed her Architecture degree at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, at which she later received her doctorate, as well. Today Kaijima is a Prof. of Architectural Behaviorology at ETH Zurich.

Kaijima and Tsukamoto fostered their partnership after joining forces in competitions where they achieved many successes—so much so—that they decided to found Atelier Bow-Wow in which they continue to thrive.

The prolific work of this Japanese architectural team spans over three decades. They begin each architectural project with observation: the site, those who will eventually inhabit the building, the behavior of the people in the surroundings, shared spaces, resources, and climate. With all this in mind, they will then try to push “that which exists” a bit further to create a new phenomenon.

Since 1992 when Tsukamoto and Kaijima founded their practice, they have consistently shown themselves to be exceptional practitioners, bridging the relationship between research and practice, proposing alternative ways of making architecture focused on its social affects. With the publication of ‘Made In Tokyo’ (2001) the pioneering “Behaviorology” (2010) and ‘Architectural Ethnography’ (2018), they have developed a treatise on how to translate the liminal and in-between spaces of the city into opportunities for public engagement. With a practice that is predominantly residential and adeptly made, their work on behavior gives dominance to design strategies that work bottom-up, looking at human rituals as the basis for design opportunities. This was further tested in their post 2011 tsunami project reconstructing Momonoura village. They have profoundly influenced younger generations alternative human-centered approaches to the urban environment.

Anne L’Huillier

Wolf Prize Laureate in Physics

The 2022 Wolf Prize in Physics 

is awarded to professors L’Huillier, Corkum and Krausz

“for pioneering contributions to ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics”

 

Is a French/Swedish physicist and professor of atomic physics at Lund University, working on the interaction between short and intense laser pulses and atoms. As a child, she was inspired by Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the Moon, in 1969. She was also influenced by her grandfather, who was a professor of electrical engineering working on radio communication. The result was a great enthusiasm for science and technology, which later made her a leader in experimental attosecond physics.

L’Huillier was awarded a double master’s degree in theoretical physics and mathematics and later switched to experimental physics to complete a Ph.D. in 1986, at Université Paris VI. She was then permanently employed as researcher at the Commissariat de l’Energie Atomique (CEA). In 1987, she participated in an experiment where high-order harmonics were observed for the first time using a picosecond Nd:YAG laser system. She was fascinated by the experiment and decided to devote her  time to work in this area of research. In 1995, she moved to Lund University in Sweden where she became a full professor in 1997. In 2004 she was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Anne L’Huillier was among the firsts to experimentally demonstrate high harmonic generation, which is the process by which attosecond pulses form, and contributed significantly to the development of a proper theoretical description of the process. She also performed a number of seminal experiments to improve the understanding of the underlying process and was a key player in the formation of the new attosecond science research field.

“Anne L’Huillier, Paul Corkum, and Ferenc Krausz share the 2022 Wolf Prize in Physics for pioneering and novel work in the fields of ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics and for demonstrating time-resolved imaging of electron motion in atoms, molecules, and solids. Each of them made crucial contributions, both to the technical development of attosecond physics and to its application to fundamental physics studies.”

Elizabeth Diller

Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 2022

Elizabeth Diller

“for her exceptional and influential work connecting architecture to
artistic practice, engaged in the public domain”.

At a time of considerable world change, when social and cultural values have been questioned, these three are outstanding in challenging norms to advance the field of architecture and its wider influence. Whilst very different in their production, they share a common vital quality of bringing research, pedagogy and practice into critical confluence for the advancement of their field. In doing so, they reveal the degree to which art, science, and engagement with society, require values that can be interrogated and challenged, as a central part of their contribution. Conscious of the wider affects of architecture, each recipient embodies the idea of collaboration in varied ways, embracing geographic, cultural and methodological differences to be celebrated: excellence through diversity. With their radical architectural visions, they continue to be meaningful influencers of future architectural generations. They have developed the agency of architecture through an expanded field, in engaging politics, the city as the base for social action, and the imperative of reaching broader audiences.

Elizabeth Diller, a Polish-born American architect, Professor of Architectural Design at Princeton University, Diller began her studies at Cooper Union in the 70s, with the interest of becoming a filmmaker but eventually was drawn to study architecture. Elizabeth talks of the influence that the New York cultural scene, which at that time was a hotbed of creativity and alternative thinking, had on her work. She was greatly moved by looking at the works of people from various fields including Stanley Kubrick, the filmmaker, and the artist, Gordon Matta-Clark. Inherent in her work is the intention and ability to break the boundaries between art and architecture. During her studies at Cooper Union, Elizabeth met her future spouse and partner Ricardo Scofidio, who together founded the firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). Her practice specializes in buildings for cultural institutions and has made groundbreaking projects that radically present her propositions to the wider public.

Elizabeth Diller has completed groundbreaking projects in the connected worlds of art and architecture, radically representing her propositions to the wider public. With three decades of work between academia, research and practice, her efforts have radicalized the relationship between architecture, art and the engagement of a larger audience. Many key works of her studio, Diller Scofidio + Renfro – including notably, Blur Building from the 2002 Swiss Expo to the High Line which first opened in 2009 in New York – have involved designing public spaces with an emphasis on scenographies that migrate from performing and visuals arts spaces to the urban landscape. These environmental projects are informed and activated by Diller and partner Ricardo Scofidio’s early,
self-generated and alternative projects, including ‘para-site,’ installed at MoMA in 1989, as well as the Mile-Long Opera, a performance Diller co- created and directed in 2019, featuring 1,000 singers along the High Line. This approach has transformed the ways in which new subjectivities are conceived.