Molecular machines drive Nobel chemistry prize

The 2016 Nobel prize in chemistry goes to a trio of European scientists for developing groundbreaking ‘molecular machines’ that the selection committee says are as exciting as the electric motor was in the 1830s. Mana Rabiee reports.

(NVO) – Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa were awarded the Nobel chemistry prize for developing ‘molecular machines’ that could one day, be used to fight cancer by delivering drugs to diseased cells inside the body.

Fraser Stoddart, at Northwestern University in Chicago, says he’s thrilled to be one of the winners.

Sir James Fraser Stoddart, 2016 Nobel chemistry prize joint winner,

“I’m very surprised and I’m elated because of my strong support that I’ve had from a large number of young scientists over the best part of 45 years”

Bernard Feringa spoke by phone from the Netherlands.


“I said, I don’t know what to say and I’m a bit shocked, you know, because it was such a great surprise, and my second remark is that I’m honored and I’m also emotional about it.”

The Nobel chemistry committee says molecular machinery is now as exciting as the electric motor was in the 1830s and that the ‘sky’s the limit’ for their future discoveries.

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  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • Nobel Prize
  • Science and technology