The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2021 was awarded to Benjamin List and David Macmillan: they developed methods for asymmetric organocatalysis used in the synthesis of molecules.
As representatives of the Nobel Committee said, today catalysts that control and accelerate chemical reactions are one of the main tools of chemists.
Previously, it was believed that there are only two types of catalysts – metals and enzymes. But Nobel laureates Benjamin List and David McMillan in 2000, in two separate studies, discovered a third type of catalysis – asymmetric organocatalysis.
The discovery – asymmetric organocatalysis – being awarded the 2021 #NobelPrize in Chemistry has taken molecular construction to an entirely new level. It has not only made chemistry greener, but also made it much easier to produce asymmetric molecules. pic.twitter.com/TsgSmgEmqb
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 6, 2021
The new discovery helped the pharmaceutical industry by making it easier to manufacture drugs and vaccines.
Benjamin List now works at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, and David McMillan at Princeton University in the United States.