Today, Arnold is focused on sustainable chemistry,
using chemistry and highly efficient biological systems to replace
expensive or toxic materials currently used to make things in our daily
lives. She's keen to go beyond where nature has gone, too, and she's
eager for traveling companions.
Already she's added two elements to the biological periodic table. The rest is up to others.
just scratched the surface," she said. "Look at the biological world
with the eyes of a chemist. You, too, can see the inherent racehorse
capabilities of proteins and use this simple process to draw these
Prior to her lecture, Arnold met with seven UD
doctoral students. After brief introductions she asked, "Everyone wants
to know what's the future — that's you. What do you think is the most
exciting area of science?"
At first the room was quiet. This was a
Nobel laureate asking, after all. But slowly an engaging conversation
emerged. The answers were as varied as their voices: Immunology.
Personalized medicine. Big data. Genome editing. Epigenetics.
advent of wearable technology that can be accessible to a lot of
different people offers ways for preventative, rather than
treatment-based, medicine," said Danielle Valcourt, who is working on
engineering nanoparticles to treat triple-negative breast cancer as part
of Assistant Professor Emily Day's biomedical engineering lab.
wearables you can have better information tracking, and with big data
you can start to see patterns in things like blood pressure that might
drive early intervention."
Wally Drake pointed to the potential
use of CRISPR technology, specially designed strands of DNA some call
"molecular scissors," to enable scientists to edit cell lines in order
to add immunity against genetic diseases. Drake works with Assistant
Professor Catherine Grimes in the chemistry and biochemistry department.
about preventative medicine. That's about the earliest preventative
stage, to use CRISPR to edit out the gene," added his lab colleague
Arnold encouraged the students to look
across disciplines and consider ways to combine powerful new
technologies — data analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning —
to solve problems.
An elected member of all three National
Academies (science, engineering and medicine), Arnold speaks from
experience. Her research group is a mix of chemists, engineers and
computer scientists. "It helps to change fields a lot," she said.
To read more about Arnold's lecture, see this article.