Italian American Scientist Carolyn Bertozzi Wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Oct 06, 2022 1929

BY: Amanda James

Carolyn Bertozzi’s life changed suddenly on October 4, 2022 when she got a call that announced that she had won the 2022 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Instructed not to share the announcement outside of her tightest inner circle, the first person Bertozzi called was her father, William Bertozzi, a retired physics professor. “He’s 91 and, of course, he was just overjoyed,” said Bertozzi. “And then he called my sisters for me, and we’ve been texting.” 

Carolyn Bertozzi grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, the second of three girls. Her father was a nuclear physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her mother a secretary in MIT’s physics department. Perhaps calling her family first was an impulse engendered by her Italian American ancestry. Carolyn’s father’s four siblings were all born in Italy.

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