Press Releases

Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD - 50th ACS-Funded Researcher Awarded the Nobel Prize
Oct 5, 2022
Dr. Bertozzi is first woman researcher funded by ACS to win science’s top honor

Michele Money-Carson,


Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, was one of three scientists to be awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry earlier today for the development of click chemistry and bio-orthogonal chemistry. She is the 50th American Cancer Society-funded researcher and the first woman researcher funded by ACS to win the prestigious honor.

Other winners alongside Dr. Bertozzi include Dr. Morten Meldal and Dr. K. Barry Sharpless. 

Dr. Bertozzi “took click chemistry to the next level,” the Nobel Committee said. She has developed click reactions that work inside living organisms. Her bio-orthogonal reactions take place without disrupting the normal chemistry of the cell. These reactions are now used globally to explore cells and track biological processes. Using bio-orthogonal reactions, researchers have improved the targeting of cancer pharmaceuticals, which are now being tested in clinical trials.

“Click chemistry enables technology that can be used in the design of precision cancer therapeutics. It is on this basis that ACS was proud to support Dr. Bertozzi’s pioneering research through multiple, independent cancer research grants,” said Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society.  “She also now bears the honor of being the 50th Nobel laureate to have been funded by the American Cancer Society, and the first woman! This is an exciting milestone for both cancer research and human health.”

“The American Cancer Society’s support of Dr. Bertozzi’s now Nobel Prize-winning work in chemistry began in 1993, and she has mentored eight ACS-funded researchers since 2001; four who are female,” said William Dahut, MD, chief scientific officer for the American Cancer Society. “This is a great day for women in research, and Dr. Bertozzi is paving the way for what we hope are many more female researchers.”

The American Cancer Society is proud to be a top supporter of those who identify as women in cancer research and recently launched an initiative, ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer™. 

“ResearcHERS is a movement that shines a light on the incredible discoveries made by those who identify as women and empowers women leaders to support the American Cancer Society’s national research program, which funds some of the brightest female minds in cancer research,” said Dahut. “Simply put, it is fundraising by women to support and sustain women-led cancer research and careers.”

Bertozzi holds several positions at Stanford University. She is the Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H’ Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences; and professor, by courtesy, of chemical and systems biology and of radiology. Her research focuses on cell surface sugars important to human health and disease, including cancer.

The American Cancer Society is honored to have funded 50 investigators who went on to win the Nobel Prize, considered the highest accolade any scientist can receive. This is a tribute to the Society’s Research program and the strength of its peer-review process.


 The American Cancer Society is the leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it for everyone. For more than 100 years, we have been the only organization improving the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.