Basel chemist Thomas Ward, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at the University of Basel and Director of the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering, is the Royal Society of Chemistry Bioinorganic Chemistry Award winner for 2017.
Professor Ward’s group has been combining chemical and biological tools for fifteen years. They create artificial metalloenzymes that can be used for the production of biofuels or as highly specific drugs to target and destroy diseased cells.
The Bioinorganic Chemistry Award is awarded for outstanding research in any aspect of bioinorganic chemistry. Professor Ward receives £2,000, a medal and a certificate.
He said: “I am extremely pleased and honored to be recognized by the bio-inorganic community. It feels good to be part of this great family of scientists.”
Since 2008 Thomas Ward is Professor for Bioinorganic Chemistry at the University of Basel. Since 2016, he heads the directorate of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Molecular Systems Engineering.
His research is centered on the exploitation of proteins as host for abiotic cofactors. The resulting artificial metalloenzymes display features reminiscent of both homogeneous catalysts and enzymes. Such systems can be optimized in vivo by Darwinian evolution schemes.