Professor Fernanda Duarte, Tutorial Fellow in Chemistry, is one of three Oxford researchers to win a Royal Society of Chemistry prize, celebrating the most exciting chemical science taking place today.
The Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize is awarded to Fernanda for her work on introducing multidisciplinary approaches to rationalise complex (bio)chemical reaction mechanisms, guiding rational molecular design.
The discovery of new molecules is crucial to modern societies. However, the process of transforming molecular sketches into real applications, such as new types of batteries or drugs, is often slow and expensive, requiring many expert scientists and hours of work. As computational chemists, Fernanda’s team use computers as ‘molecular microscopes’ to understand how reactions occur at a molecular level, from simple reactions in solution to more complex biomolecular processes. Her team develops predictive models and computational tools to gain fundamental understanding of such processes and aid the optimisation and discovery of novel molecules to tackle industrial and societal challenges.
I am honoured to receive this recognition which goes to my amazing team. I am thankful to all the people that has made this achievement possible, from students to mentors and family.
Professor Fernanda Duarte
The Royal Society of Chemistry’s prizes have recognised excellence in the chemical sciences for more than 150 years. In 2019, the organisation announced the biggest overhaul of this portfolio in its history, designed to better reflect modern science. The Research and Innovation Prizes celebrate brilliant individuals across industry and academia. They include prizes for those at different career stages in general chemistry and for those working in specific fields, as well as interdisciplinary prizes and prizes for those in specific roles.