University of Pittsburgh

The Dickson Prize in Medicine

2022 Dickson Prize Winner


Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD

Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, is the 2022 recipient of the Dickson Prize in Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s highest honor.

Bertozzi founded the field of "bioorthogonal chemistry," a class of chemical reactions compatible with living systems.

Bertozzi’s research interests span the disciplines of chemistry and biology, with an emphasis on studies of how sugar molecules on cell surfaces are important contributors to diseases like cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection. Her lab has identified ways to modify these sugar molecules through bioorthogonal chemistry – a method that employs chemical reactions that do not interfere with normal cellular processes. This approach has allowed her to develop new therapeutic approaches to treat many diseases, including most recently in the field of cancer immunotherapy. 

Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. 

In addition to her research, Bertozzi works actively to translate her science into new therapies. She has cofounded several startups, including Redwood Bioscience, Enable Biosciences, InterVenn Biosciences, OliLux Biosciences and Lycia Therapeutics.

Bertozzi earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Harvard University and her PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. After completing her postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, she joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in 1996.  A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 2000, she became a Stanford University faculty member in 2015 and was among the first faculty to join the interdisciplinary institute known as Sarafan ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health). She is now the Baker Family Director of Sarafan ChEM-H.

Bertozzi has received numerous national and international honors and awards for her research, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 1999 and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2022. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.