Engineering Alumni Engineering Alumni Engineering Alumni Engineering Alumni Engineering Alumni


Irving O. Shoichet Distinguished Lecture

California Institute of Technology


Not satisfied with nature’s vast repertoire of synthetic capabilities, we want to create new enzymes and expand the chemistry of the biological world, beyond where nature has gone. I will describe how we can use the most powerful biological design process, evolution, to optimize existing enzymes and invent new ones. Mimicking nature’s evolutionary tricks and using a little chemical intuition, we can circumvent our near-complete ignorance of how DNA sequence encodes biological function and generate new biocatalysts, including whole new enzyme families that catalyze important reactions not (yet) known in nature.  These new capabilities demonstrate the power of biological production and will help us continue to transition to sustainable materials and chemicals.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

200 College Street
Wallberg Building
Room 116

FRANCES ARNOLD is the Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at Caltech, where her research focuses on protein engineering by directed evolution, with applications in alternative energy, chemicals, and medicine. Dr. Arnold pioneered the ‘directed evolution’ of proteins, mimicking Darwinian evolution in the laboratory to create new biological molecules.  Her laboratory has developed protein evolution methods that are used widely in industry and basic science to engineer proteins with new and useful properties. 

Dr. Arnold’s honors include the National Academy of Sciences Sackler Prize in Convergence Research (2017), the Millennium Technology Prize (2016), the Eni Prize in Renewable and Nonconventional Energy (2013), the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011), and the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the US National Academy of Engineering (2011). She was inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014 and has been elected to membership in all three US National Academies, of Science, Medicine, and Engineering as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among other activities, she chairs the Advisory Panel of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships in Science and Engineering program.

RSVP   For more info:
Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
    Engineering Alumni    
  All contents copyright © Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto. Engineering Alumni