UC Berkeley alumna Frances Arnold awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry

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Frances Arnold, a UC Berkeley alumna and professor at the California Institute of Technology, was one of three scientists awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry this morning.

Arnold, who received her doctorate in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley in 1985, was recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for her work on the evolution of enzymes — research that has resulted in the formation of environmentally friendly ways to create various products, including agricultural chemicals and fuels.

Arnold is the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry, and the first since 2009.

Half of the prize, which amounts to $1 million, will go to Arnold, while the other half will be shared by biological sciences professor George Smith and biochemist Gregory Winter. These three scientists awarded the prize have harnessed evolutionary processes in order to spur both medical and environmental breakthroughs.

Danielle Kaye is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @danielledkaye.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Frances Arnold received her doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1979. In fact, she received it in 1985.