Predictions for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

September 7th, 2011

ChemBark MedallionWe’re less than one month away from the most exciting time of the year…the Nobel Prize in Chemistry is set to be announced on October 5th.

Presented below is the official ChemBark list of odds against winning the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  The list is a revised version of last year’s predictions, where the discovery with the third-best odds ended up winning and the esteemed institution that is USA Today contacted your humble blogger for a quote (thanks to a kind reference from David Pendlebury, the gentleman who predicts prizes for Thomson Reuters). 

Anyway, the candidates are sorted below by discovery/invention rather than by scientist.  The lists of scientists can get complicated.  Some scientists are listed more than once.  In cases where someone not listed could easily share in the prize for the associated discovery, a “+” is listed.  In cases where one of the scientists listed could easily not share in that prize, a “–” is listed.  The odds are reported in “odds against” format.  Remember, this list attempts to address who will win the prize this year, not who should win the prize.  There’s a big difference.

Odds Against Winning the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – UPDATED 9/28

Spectroscopy & Application of Lasers, Zare/Moerner/+, 6-1
Nuclear Hormone Signaling, Chambon/Evans/Jensen, 7-1
Bioinorganic Chemistry, Gray/Lippard/Holm/–, 8-1
Techniques in DNA Synthesis, Caruthers/Hood/+, 10-1
The Field (everything not listed), 11-1
Electrochemistry/Electron Transfer, Bard/Hush/Gray/–, 19-1
Instrumentation/Techniques in Genomics, Venter/+, 19-1
Biological Membrane Vesicles, Rothman/Schekman/+, 19-1
Molecular Studies of Gene Recognition, Ptashne, 19-1
Polymer Science, Matyjaszewski/Rizzardo/+/– 29-1
Organic Electronics, Tang/+, 49-1
Solar Cells, Grätzel/+, 74-1
Chemically-Amplified Photoresists, Frechet/Willson, 74-1
Mechanistic Enzymology, Walsh/Stubbe/+/–, 74-1
Lithium-Ion Batteries, Goodenough, 99-1
Development of the Birth Control Pill, Djerassi, 99-1
Molecular Modeling and Assorted Applications, Karplus/Houk/Schleyer/Miller/+/–, 99-1
Applications of NMR Spectroscopy, Pines/Roberts/McConnell/+/–, 99-1
Development of Chemical Biology, Schultz/Schreiber/+, 99-1
Self-Assembly, Whitesides/Nuzzo/Stang/–, 149-1
Pigments of Life, Battersby/+, 149-1
Small Regulatory RNA, Ambros/Baulcombe/Ruvkun, 149-1
Nanotechnology, Lieber/Whitesides/Alivisatos/Mirkin/Seeman/+/–, 149-1
Eukaryotic RNA Polymerases, Roeder, 149-1
Contributions to Theoretical Physical Chemistry, Rice/+, 149-1
Bio- & Organo-catalysis, List/Lerner/Barbas/+/–, 149-1
Drug Delivery/Tissue Engineering, Langer/+, 149-1
Combinatorial Chemistry/DOS, Schreiber/+, 199-1
Leptin, Coleman/Friedman/Leong, 199-1
Metal-Organic Frameworks, Yaghi/Ferey/Kitagawa/+/–, 199-1
Zeolites, Flanigan/+, 199-1
Fluorocarbons, DuPont/Curran/–, 199-1
Dendrimers, Frechet/Tomalia/+, 199-1
Mechanical Bonds and Applications, Sauvage/Stoddart/+, 299-1
Understanding of Organic Stereochemistry, Mislow, 299-1
Contributions to Bioorganic Chemistry, Breslow/Eschenmoser/+, 299-1
Organic Synthesis, Evans/Danishefsky/Nicolaou/Ley/Trost/Stork/Wender/Kishi/+/–, 299-1
Molecular Machines, Stoddart/Tour/+/–, 499-1
Molecular Recognition, Dervan/+, 999-1
Astrochemistry, Oka, 999-1


1. This rundown is meant to approximate fair odds (without a built-in vig).  In case you don’t know how this way of reporting odds works, the listed numbers (“m-n”) mean the associated entry has an expected probabilty to win of n/(m+n).  Thus, 4-1 odds equates to a 20% expectation of winning.  If your pick wins at 4-1 and you’ve bet $1, you get paid $5 ($4 + your $1 bet back) minus the house’s vig.

2. I’m not taking any wagers.

3. The (qualitative) criteria that went into assigning these odds were discussed in a previous post.  Results from old predictions were also discussed in a previous post.  

4. Walsh and Stubbe’s receipt of the Welch Award Wolf Prize significantly bumps up the chance that mechanistic enzymology is recognized.

5. The nuclear hormone signaling guys are kind of getting up there in years.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this fact entered into the equation for their seeing a prize sooner rather than later.

6. Who is my final prediction for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (i.e., my one pick if someone were to put a gun to my head and say that a winning prediction was the only thing that would save my life)?  I’m going with the laser people, Zare and Moerner, for a second year in a row.  Last year was distinctly organic and the prize before that was structural biology.  Is it p-chem’s turn?  I wouldn’t be surprised.

This post will be updated with links to other fresh (2011) predictions as they appear on other blogs.  For links to past predictions made by other sites, see the bottom of this post.

2011 predictions: Curious WavefunctionEveryday Scientist, Interfacial Digressions, Thomson Reuters (podcast), In the Pipeline, Reddit people, Lamentations on Chemistry, Unstable Isotope

2011 press: Science Insider, Discover Magazine, LA Times, Heute

102 Responses to “Predictions for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry”

  1. psi*psi Says:

    I love that organic electronics is on your list now <3

  2. Paul Says:

    Well, Tang got on my radar by recently sharing the 2011 Wolf Prize. I expect he’ll bubble up this list in the coming years.

  3. Neil Says:

    The big question for me: Who is Lisa Simpson tipping this year? (for a reminder:

  4. R. R. Says:

    “Molecular Modeling and Assorted Applications, Karplus/Houk/Schleyer/Miller/+/–, 99-1″

    Which Miller is this? Bill Miller from Berkeley?

  5. See Arr Oh Says:

    I think organocatalysis should have a slightly better lean, maybe 99-1? And if anything needed a “+” at the end, it should be this, because MacMillan, Jorgenson, Jacobsen, etc are all in the mix.

    It’s the next generation’s version of the Pd Nobel…

  6. biochembelle Says:

    Curious about tapping Schultz & Schreiber for chem biol (even if you do place that category at low odds). Schultz has made major contributions in unnatural amino acid substitutions, but shenanigans from past couple of years might cast a cloud. I’m more familiar w Schreiber’s work in small molecule screening at the Broad.

    What about other chem biol contributors? Particularly some of the chem biol work with glycobiology comes to mind – e.g. developments in understaing O-GlcNac function/regulation or some of Bertozzi’s work…

    Regarding Zare/Moerner – who knows? Maybe chemistry will steal the physics prize again… ;)

  7. MJ Says:

    Are you referring to Daniel Koshland (of the “induced fit” fame, among other things) in your pick for mechanistic enzymology? He passed away in 2007. Just an FYI.

    If general contributions to theoretical physical chemistry gets recognized, I’d think it’s more than just Stuart Rice who gets the call to Stockholm. Not sure how to generate a list off the top of my head without forgetting someone, but I don’t see it ending up being a solo prize. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s the sort of thing that seems like at least a two-fer if not a three-fer.

  8. Curious Wavefunction Says:

    Norman Allinger should be included among the computational chemists.

  9. Everyday Scientist » 2011 nobel predictions Says:

    [...] it’s already Nobel season! ChemBark and the Curious Wavefunction already have predictions. My 2010 Nobel predictions are here (and, of [...]

  10. ir2 Says:

    organocatalysis:: that now multi-named proline catalysed asymmetric aldol reacton was in my undergraduate notes from ca 1997. It was textbook material before any of these players started playing. Likening this subject to palladium catalysis is way off.

  11. Paul Says:

    Post updated in response to comments…

    @R.R.: Yep…William Miller from Berkeley (who won the Welch Award a few years back)

    @See Arr Oh: Added a “+/–” to the organocatalysis people. As an aside, my gut says this area will never be recognized.

    @biochembelle: I agree that a bunch of people could be lumped into a prize for chemical biology. I wouldn’t want to have to sort that one out.

    @MJ: Struck Koshland. Thanks.

    @CW: Again, like for chemical biology, I wouldn’t want to be the one tasked with picking just three among the computational chemists.

  12. Jay Says:

    no MOFs in your list?

  13. Paul Says:

    Maybe next year I’ll lump MOFs and zeolites together and bump up the odds a little. To whom would you award the prize?

  14. Stu Says:

    Should MOFs actually get one, my money would be on Yaghi/Ferey/Kitagawa

  15. Matt Says:

    What about the click chemistry? Huisgen-Sharpless-Bertozi.

  16. Jay Says:

    I think MOFs and zeolites should be in different fields, as of zeolites are the most important catalysts in the world at this time, but unfortunately they come from industry rather than academy. MOFs are usually considered more like academic excentricities and -by many people- pretty but useless.

    I would extend the MOF list as Yaghi/Kitagawa/Robson, and probably O’Keeffe and Ferey. Flannigan, Baerlocher and Corma for Zeolites, or even include mesoporous silicas like people from Mobil and Stuky.

  17. Joel Says:

    John Goodenough for Lithium-ion batteries.

  18. Special Guest Lecturer Says:

    If Carolyn Bertozzi wins, I certainly don’t think it will be for “click chemistry” – a series of criteria that make a chemical reaction extremely versatile, most of which were self-evident before Sharpless coined the term. Huisgen is not involved either – just lucky that his cycloaddition could be catalyzed by Cu. The azide-alkyne cycloaddition is highly useful but not _that_ special or game-changing.

    MOFs just don’t have the utility, at least not yet. It would be incredibly premature to award it now – maybe if the problems with H2 storage were solved, but I’m not holding my breath.

    I’d go with DNA synthesis for what I think will win soon. It is absolutely scandalous that the birth control pill has not been recognized – by far the biggest positive impact of chemistry in the last 50 years.

    Also – chemically amplified resists for photolithography. Wilson/Frechet/Ito. It would be odd to consider dendrimers for a long-shot prize when Frechet’s most important work is not even on the board.

  19. Paul Says:

    Oh, SGL…photoresists are an excellent addition! Massively important. I assumed all of these materials were invented years ago in distributed projects in industry. Is the Frechet/Ito/Willson 1985 patent the seminal publication?

  20. Paul Says:

    And Joel, I was trying to remember Goodenough. I think Neil from NChem also tapped him for a prize in last year’s discussion. It is also worth noting he is getting up there in years.

  21. Special Guest Lecturer Says:

    Paul – to my knowledge, that is the seminal work. Photoresists had been around for some time, but the concept of photoactivating a catalyst to perform the chemistry was needed for lower wavelengths and smaller features.

  22. Tt Says:

    It would be nice to see a Nobel for directed evolution (Tsien’s doesn’t count as that was GFP, not the technique in general. Francis Arnold and William Stemmer just won the Draper prize for it, so they should at minimum make the odds list…99-1.

  23. Bryan Sanctuary Says:

    Without naming names, I think a lot really are long shots. Also I am never really happy with the recognition of work that are non-specific: like “contributions to the field of…”

    I predict that no one on this list will win this year.

  24. HI Says:

    Regarding directed evolution mentioned by Tt, weren’t Gerald Joyce and Jack Szostak among the first to do it? When I attended Szostak’s talk, I thought he could win a Nobel Prize for this one day. But he ended up winning the Prize for the telomere work that he had done earlier.

  25. Tt Says:


    I agree to an extent. Directed evolution has many contributors, but I think Arnold and Stemmer have been it’s biggest champions focusing on the technique applied to lots of applications. Conceptually, Szostak and Joyce were pioneers, but it’s one of those cases where the Nobel committee would have a long list to choose from and it depends whether they want to award the early contributors, or the most prolific and influential ones. Either way, a tough prize to pin on just three people.

  26. Bracelet Says:

    Possible topics: DNA Origami, Semiconductor Quantum Dots, Contributions to Photochemistry/Photophysics. Jackie Barton is not included in the electron transfer category? I have a feeling an atmospheric or environmental chemist will get it.

  27. chembio Says:

    Synthetic biology should be thrown in the mix – Science just had a special issue with Bruce Alberts penning an editorial praising synthetic biology as a powerful future direction for biochemistry. Could go to Michael Elowitz and James Collins for their pioneering work on synthetic gene networks harnessing DNA, RNA and protein chemisty, with possible inclusion of Craig Venter or George Church for their pioneering work on DNA synthesis.

  28. luysii Says:

    Rooting for Schleyer/Houk (and the Red Sox) none of which look particularly spiffy at this point

  29. agiantamongmolecules Says:

    I think you need to drop Langer from the Polymer Chemistry section and add Sawamoto or Rizzardo. Langer has done a lot of really great work, but nothing that I would consider seminal in the field of polymer chemistry.

  30. macromol Says:

    the nominations for the polymer chemistry section should be seriously reviewed. Langer and Matyjaszewski have done some good work but for seminal work in the field of polymer chemistry (which is what a Nobel should recognise) it should be hands down Rizzardo. His work on controlled free radical polymer chemistry started in the mid 80′s with his Nitroxide work and colminated in the late 90′s with the publication on reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT). Rizzardo’s work has opened a new area of polymer chemistry.

  31. Nick K Says:

    Why has Rolf Huisgen never received a Nobel? Without him there would be no dipolar cycloadditions and therefore no click chemistry.

  32. Dieter Says:

    Svante Pääbo.

  33. wolfie Says:

    Because Huisgen tortured my own diploma father, as only late Nazis could do. Later, the father won the biggest research prize in Germany, after being a Post-Doc with Corey, but he was never happy.

    A chemist’s fate ?

  34. wolfie Says:

    Barbara Knowles and Davor Solter ARE married, two scientists to gain the Noble, almost.

    Although : What do we conclude from (it, that, whatever) ??

  35. Curious Wavefunction Says:

    Nick K: Maybe because of the Huisgen-Firestone (stepwise radical vs concerted mechanism) controversy? Some think the non-classical ion controversy precluded Saul Winstein from getting his prize (although it got Brown one, for entirely unrelated stuff though).

  36. mevans Says:

    Picky as hell Paul, I know, but one change that would make your list super-duper cool: links to group websites for the scientists on the list. :-)

  37. predicto Says:

    My money’s on single-molecule spectroscopy — WE Moerner et al…

  38. patrick holder Says:

    Stubbe and Walsh received the Welch award, not the Wolf prize. but I think your reasoning is still sound.

  39. bad wolf Says:

    I would also like to see Djerassi for the Pill, which was good chemistry but huge social impact, possibly one of the greatest of 20th century medchem outside of antibiotics. It would be particularly appropriate after IVF was awarded Medicine/Physiology last year.

  40. Royston Drenthe Says:

    Zeolites are a clear Nobel prize and were likely on deck at some point in the past but the committee delayed too long, as the Zeolite OG – R. M. Barrer, died in the 90s without ever getting the prize – Anecdotally he was in the frame for it the year he died. Sort of dents the fields chances when the top man passes away – that and the big industrial applications first came in the 50s and 60s. So it looks like one that got away but who knows.

  41. Anonymous Says:

    Why are MOFs considered less useful than zeolites? Everyone is talking about using MOFs for H2 storage and carbon capture.

  42. Royston Drenthe Says:

    Current value of zeolites as catalysts, sieves, filters, storage media in industry? Probably billions of dollars per year. They are used by the megaton (literally). Current value of MOFs in industry? Square root of fk all.

    Not to say that MOFs are not deserving of a Nobel prize at some point; it’s an exciting field and ironically they are more likely to get it as the time for a zeolite Nobel appears to have passed. It’s just that they’re in their infancy of applications whereas zeolites are very mature and have demonstrable impact on society.

  43. Dieter Says:

    For human genome research: Leroy Hood, J. Craig Venter, and Svante Pääbo. Admittedly, it’s biochemistry, but as game changing as it gets.

  44. Dona Says:

    I hope Harry wins! This is an amazing prediction!

  45. chm Says:

    What about N-heterocyclic carbenes. They are not only interesting as organocatalysts but have also kind of revolutionized main group and transition metal chemistry. In the long run I bet some money on Arduengo

  46. Neil Says:

    Re: Goodenough

    I think it was 3 years ago now that I began the Goodenough campaign! His early magnetism stuff is pretty impressive too – all published in the 1950s, I was getting grilled about in my PhD viva/defence ~50 years later.

    Re: Zeolites/mesoporous silica

    This is a great shout and I think has been under the radar for a few years. They’re hugely important industrially – as others have said above – and there’s some very interesting work going on at the moment. Those two recent Science papers from Ryong Ryoo and Avelino Corma, for example.

    Goodness knows who you’d give it to though – thankfully, that’s not my/our problem!

  47. Matt Says:

    I’m going for zeolites or synthetic biology. With Venter’s stuff and the IGERT challenges, syn bio might be my odds-on favorite. Tho, I may argue that zeolites should win (and I have no idea who I’d pick from that group … not up on my zeolite history).

  48. HI Says:

    Hartl and Horwich won the Lasker Award this year for the protein chaperone work. Although they are more likely to be considered for the Physiology/Medicine Prize, there is a precedence for the Chemistry Prize awarded for protein folding.

    David Allis has done a lot of nice work on histone modifications. Again it is more likely to be in Physiology/Medicine, but he might have a chance. (Interestingly Schreiber’s lab discovered the first HDAC about the same time Allis’ lab discovered a transcription-associated HAT. It is amazing that this is only one of many achievements by Schreiber’s lab. On the other hand, they haven’t really followed up on it.)

  49. NotAnAstrobiologist Says:

    Hello??? Perhaps you are forgetting someone!??!?

  50. SenseStrand Says:

    Zinc finger technology is one of the hottest areas now in everything from gene therapy for HIV to increasing crop yield, to therapeutic protein production, to the great hope for stem cell therapy. Sangamo Biosciences CEO taughts it as a ‘cure’ for HIV. Would you rate this as Chem or Medicine? It’s basis in biochemistry of DNA recognition and protein engineering.

  51. HI Says:


    Aaron Klug, one of the pioneers of the zinc finger technology, has already won the Nobel Prize for his contributions to structural biology. Also, although it is still too early to tell, there is a buzz that TAL might be able to replace zinc fingers.

  52. darksyde Says:

    oh please god I hope JCV/church doesn’t win the nobel (I work for him), because that would be a colossal category error. Medicine and health. Maybe.

  53. darksyde Says:

    I still want Kwolek/Sweeney to win, but I put the odds for her/him at 1999-1 even below my other pick Oka (thanks for adding him)

  54. darksyde Says:

    Hm… I asked gray to take a look at a paper that I’m writing, better do it before october.

  55. KCN Says:

    The Committee can only ignore my manifest omnipotence for so long before the terror of my thunderbolts heave-ho from the heady highs of might Olympus, whence I shall smite them in their ignorance!

  56. Jay Says:

    I think zeolites are never going to win, since their time have passed. However, giving the prize to MOFs or mesoporous silicas would be a indirect recognition to their importance, because both fields have been significantly influenced by zeolite chemistry.

  57. bad wolf Says:

    Hey, Melanie Sanford FTW with a MacArthur Fellowship! There’s an interesting prize to guess at, as it is more reflective of current hot topics than lifetime achievement.

  58. insyder Says:

    insyder says the nobel prize in medicine and physiology will go to a virologist.

  59. StaudingersRide Says:

    Courts have ruled that Greg Winter’s antibody phage display patents are invalid. This leaves the Scripps patents as the only valid phage display patents in the antibody area. With dozens of drugs making their way towards approval based on this approach and the billions in sales from the phage antibody drugs humira, lucentis, and the coming sales of benlysta, it looks like Smith for peptide phage display and Scripps group on this one. Winter still has a chance for humanization though there is a list of characters there too.

  60. Let the predictions begin | Nobel Prize Watch Says:

    [...] you to bet the house on any of the above names, you could have a look at Paul Bracher’s list of Chemistry possibles. Or you might not fancy seeing what the pros think, and instead head straight for the list of names [...]

  61. 2011 Nobel Prize Predictions Roll In | World Headlines News Says:

    [...] Bracher, wh&#959 &#1112&#965&#1109t rolled out similar predictions[6], suggests th&#1072t citations alone m&#1072&#1091 n&#959t b&#1077 a [...]

  62. luysii Says:

    Hopefully Schleyer/Houk are doing better than the Red Sox since September 11 when I first mentioned them. Maybe mentioning them on 9/11 was an omen.

  63. Paul Says:

    Links added to Thomson Reuters (David Pendlebury’s) picks and to an article on Nobel predictions by the people at Science magazine. Also, the lines will shift somewhat this weekend. Here’s a copy of where they stand now, since I’ll be overwriting this post instead of starting a new one:

    Spectroscopy & Application of Lasers, Zare/Moerner/+, 6-1
    Nuclear Hormone Signaling, Chambon/Evans/Jensen, 6-1
    Bioinorganic Chemistry, Gray/Lippard/Holm/–, 8-1
    The Field (everything not listed), 10-1
    Techniques in DNA Synthesis, Caruthers/Hood/+, 10-1
    Electrochemistry/Electron Transfer, Bard/Hush/Gray/–, 19-1
    Instrumentation/Techniques in Genomics, Venter/+, 19-1
    Biological Membrane Vesicles, Rothman/Schekman/+, 19-1
    Molecular Studies of Gene Recognition, Ptashne, 19-1
    Organic Electronics, Tang/+, 39-1
    Polymer Science, Matyjaszewski/Langer/+/– 69-1
    Solar Cells, Grätzel/+, 74-1
    Mechanistic Enzymology, Walsh/Stubbe/Koshland/+/–, 74-1
    Combinatorial Chemistry/DOS, Schreiber/+, 99-1
    Pigments of Life, Battersby/+, 99-1
    Development of the Birth Control Pill, Djerassi, 99-1
    Molecular Modeling and Assorted Applications, Karplus/Houk/Schleyer/Miller/+/–, 99-1
    Applications of NMR Spectroscopy, Pines/Roberts/McConnell/+/–, 99-1
    Development of Chemical Biology, Schultz/Schreiber/+, 99-1
    Self-Assembly, Whitesides/Nuzzo/Stang/–, 149-1
    Small Regulatory RNA, Ambros/Baulcombe/Ruvkun, 149-1
    Nanotechnology, Lieber/Whitesides/Alivisatos/Mirkin/Seeman/+/–, 149-1
    Eukaryotic RNA Polymerases, Roeder, 149-1
    Contributions to Theoretical Physical Chemistry, Rice/+, 149-1
    Mechanical Bonds and Applications, Sauvage/Stoddart/+, 149-1
    Bio- & Organo-catalysis, List/Lerner/Barbas/+/–, 149-1
    Organic Synthesis, Evans/Danishefsky/Nicolaou/Ley/Trost/Stork/Wender/Kishi/+/–, 199-1
    Leptin, Coleman/Friedman/Leong, 199-1
    Fluorocarbons, DuPont/Curran/–, 199-1
    Understanding of Organic Stereochemistry, Mislow, 199-1
    Tissue Engineering, Langer/+, 199-1
    Contributions to Bioorganic Chemistry, Breslow/Eschenmoser/+, 199-1
    Dendrimers, Frechet/Tomalia/+, 399-1
    Zeolites, Flanigan, 399-1
    Molecular Recognition, Dervan/+, 399-1
    Molecular Machines, Stoddart/Tour/+/–, 399-1
    Astrochemistry, Oka, 999-1

  64. Началось гадание на нобелевской гуще » World Headlines Says:

    [...] сколько они написали. Г-н Брэчер имеет собственный список, оформленный по всем правилам букмекерства. В нём [...]

  65. luysii Says:

    The Red Sox are looking worse and worse. Hopefully Schleyer/Houk haven’t deteriorated along with them.

    I watched a similar collapse in ’64 do people in. For details see —

  66. Paul Says:

    Congrats to luysii for leaving the blog’s 2000th comment since the re-launch in August 2010.

  67. luysii Says:

    I’m honored !

  68. Nagroda Nobla 2011 - kogo obstawiacie? | Blog chemiczny Says:

    [...] lat. Listy potencjalnych laureatów znajdziecie z łatwością w internecie – np. na blogach ChemBark i Everyday Scientist oraz na stronie Thomson Reuters. Warto porównać sobie to z tym, co pisano w [...]

  69. Anonymous Says:

    Pretty soon, Thomoson reuters will increase the odd of the success of the prediction by preidcting that one of chemists in world will win noble prize in chemistry in 20xx.

  70. NR guy Says:

    A bit surprised that there have been no comments on the nuclear receptor recipient list. As someone active in the field, I have tons of respect for Chambon and his body of work. The problem is that he has been near the front on many topics, including several important ones outside the nuclear receptors, but was never the clear discoverer of any of them. Second to Evans with the ER cDNA, among a large pack on RXR, second to Roeder on multiple RNA polymerases, in the pack on enhancers and introns. Hugely impressive, but there is no simple one sentence version of “Chambon discovered X.” This is obvious for Jensen, who really did discover the nuclear receptors, and for Evans, who first uncovered the superfamily. I think it is also very clear for Bert O’Malley, who discovered that nuclear receptors regulate gene expression. (I know it seems obvious now, and also that there are claims of prior contributions on this, but I believe that O’Malley is responsible for this cornerstone discovery). My choice: Jensen/O’Malley/Evans.

  71. Paul Says:

    Odds list updated on 9/28

    Thanks to everyone for the comments

  72. Chemjobber Says:

    I’d take the field. $5.

  73. yonemoto Says:

    NR guy – sounds like a bunch of molecular physiology, to me.

  74. Hufsnagel Says:

    Alan Davison – Radiopharmaceuticals have had more impact than almost everything on the list.

  75. Paul Says:

    Sad news:

    An official at IBM informs me that Hiroshi Ito, co-inventor of chemically-amplified photoresists, passed away a few years ago. (A reporter who had read this post called IBM to seek comment from Ito.)

    I have removed Dr. Ito from the list attached to this discovery and lowered the odds for the entry.

  76. Special Guest Lecturer Says:

    Wow, had no idea – quick search found Ito’s obituary published July 7, 2009.

  77. Ig Nobel Prize winners honored for health research studies « system-ON-key Says:

    [...] 2011 Nobel Prizes will be announced next week, and science buffs are busy debating whether the award will go to researchers who developed useful cancer drugs, made breakthrough [...]

  78. La semana que viene se anuncian los Premios Nobel, ¿cuáles son tus predicciones? « Francis (th)E mule Science's News Says:

    [...] Coincido en esta apuesta con “Predictions for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry,” Chembark, September 7th, 2011. Se nota que soy físico y le tiro a la química [...]

  79. 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry « Lamentations on Chemistry Says:

    [...] is my guess for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry-  Harry Gray and two others.  Over at Chembark, Gray, Lippard, and Holm hold some [...]

  80. Yonemoto Says:

    Alan fersht

  81. Click Says:

    Hot off the grapevine, the chemistry prize is being packaged with the Medicine prize announced today. Something in immunochemistry or immunotherapeutics.

  82. Spiny Norman Says:

    There’s no way that Ptashne is going to get it for transcription regulation, after they just gave it to Roger Kornberg a couple of years ago. Same argument goes for Roeder. If they were ever going to get it they would have shared the prize with Kornberg. If Rothman/Schekman ever get it, it will be the Physiology prize not for chemistry; same goes for the biology (v. chemistry) of steroids and for leptins, and for the RNAi people mentioned who are all geneticists. All are closer to physiology than to chemistry.

    Also, Larry Gold was there with directed evolution of RNA aptamers prior to Szostak — and anyway Szostak has already won, for telomerase.

    The Horvitch/Hartl suggestion is a good one. They could share it with Neupert.

    Re. synthetic biology, what about protein engineering?

  83. Odds on Nobel Laureates? You Bet. « industrystoryline Says:

    [...] Prize in Chemistry, to be awarded Wednesday, October 5, check out Paul Bracher at ChemBark’s thorough post with detailed odds, and Derek Lowe’s picks at In the [...]

  84. Odds on Nobel Laureates? You Bet. | 80beats | Freedom Developers Says:

    [...] Prize in Chemistry, to be awarded Wednesday, October 5, check out Paul Bracher at ChemBark’s thorough post with detailed odds, and Derek Lowe’s picks at In the [...]

  85. వైద్యరంగంలో ముగ్గురికి నోబెల్  | Says:

    [...] 2011 Nobel Prizes will be announced next week, and science buffs are busy debating whether the award will go to researchers who developed useful cancer drugs, made breakthrough [...]

  86. ChemBark » Blog Archive » 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – Liveblog Says:

    [...] ChemBark’s Official List of Odds for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry [...]

  87. Rakesh Says:

    I believe this year gonna be P. Chemistry year if u recall last year organic before that biology and no Nobel since the G. Artl. My favorite to this award are Whitesides and Bard.

  88. Hank Says:

    Tang for organic electronics? He’s a good name but Fred Wudl’s contribution to organic electronics is just as great. It’s a moot point though since I highly doubt the committee will give the nobel prize to the field of organic electronics.

  89. Sasi Says:

    I would happy if Richard.N.Zare wins the prize. He has been a fascinating physical chemist and developed unique laser methods

  90. Predictions for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry | Nobel Prize Watch Says:

    [...] blog. With organic chemistry getting the prize last year, and structural biology the year before, Bracher’s favourites are Richard Zare and WE Moerner for developing laser-based and single-molecule spectroscopy techniques [...]

  91. 2011 Chemistry Nobel awarded to Prof. Dan Shechtman for the discovery of quasi-crystals « The k2p blog Says:

    [...] award of this year’s Chemistry Nobel has attracted many predictions at ChemBark, Thomsons Reuters, Curious Wavefunction and Interfacial Digressions among others but few (if any) [...]

  92. luysii Says:

    Quasicrystals are fascinating and (I think) have been shown to be repeating if viewed in a higher dimension. They represent an interesting state of matter. But what are their chemical reactions? Do they even exist? Is this really chemistry?

  93. Chemjobber Says:

    If only Paul was a bookie, I’d be up $50!

  94. Odds on Nobel Laureates? You Bet. | 80beats | Theoretical Physics Says:

    [...] the Prize in Chemistry, to be awardedWednesday, October 5, check out Paul Bracher at ChemBark’s thorough post with detailed odds, and Derek Lowe’s picksat In the Pipeline. For the Prize in Literature, to be [...]

  95. La scoperta dei cristalli impossibili | Il chimico impertinente Says:

    [...] Shechtman classe 1941, il suo nome non era presente in nessuna di quelle previsioni che scommettono sul prossimo Nobel, e nonostante Wikipedia fosse ben preparata (l’articolo in [...]

  96. eugene Says:

    Sanctuary for the win on the predictions! I believe two years ago one of the commentors also mentioned Ada Yonath.

  97. ChemBru Says:

    Not even a clue. Give it up!

  98. La scoperta dei cristalli impossibili - Kimblo Scienze Says:

    [...] Shechtman classe 1941, il suo nome non era presente in nessuna di quelle previsioni che scommettono sul prossimo Nobel, e nonostante Wikipedia fosse ben preparata (l’articolo in [...]

  99. joel Says:

    I think David Chandler deserves to be on the long list. In total, his contributions to statistical mechanics—specifically his methods—are vast.

  100. likas Says:

    quirero quiemes ganaron

  101. Predictions for the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry | ChemBark Says:

    [...] list of odds against winning the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The list is a revised version of last year’s predictions, where I shamefully neglected to score the discovery that won. Quasicrystals seemed to come out of [...]

  102. how to lose weight Says:

    I am new to developing websites and I was wondering if
    having your site title related to your content really that critical?
    I notice your title, “Predictions for the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry ” does appear to be spot on with what your website is
    about yet, I prefer to keep my title less content descriptive and based
    more around site branding. Would you think this is a good idea or bad
    idea? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply