Director, ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor, School of Humanities and Sciences
Professor, by courtesy, of Radiology and of Chemical and Systems Biology
Professor Carolyn Bertozzi’s research interests span the disciplines of chemistry and biology with an emphasis on studies of cell surface sugars important to human health and disease. Her research group profiles changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection, and uses this information to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology.
Dr. Bertozzi completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, focusing on the chemical synthesis of oligosaccharide analogs. During postdoctoral work at UC San Francisco, she studied the activity of endothelial oligosaccharides in promoting cell adhesion at sites of inflammation. She joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2000, she came to Stanford University in June 2015, among the first faculty to join the interdisciplinary institute ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health). Named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, Dr. Bertozzi has received many awards for her dedication to chemistry, and to training a new generation of scientists fluent in both chemistry and biology. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and received the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, and the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, among many others. Her efforts in undergraduate education have earned the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald Sterling Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Today, the Bertozzi Group at Stanford studies the glycobiology underlying diseases such as cancer, inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. The work has advanced understanding of cell surface oligosaccharides involved in cell recognition and inter-cellular communication.
Dr. Bertozzi’s lab also develops new methods to perform controlled chemical reactions within living systems. The group has developed new tools for studying glycans in living systems, and more recently nanotechnologies for probing biological systems. Such “bioorthogonal” chemistries enable manipulation of biomolecules in their living environment.
Several of the technologies developed in the Bertozzi lab have been adapted for commercial use. Actively engaged with several biotechnology start-ups, Dr. Bertozzi founded Redwood Bioscience of Emeryville, California, and has served on the research advisory board of GlaxoSmithKline.