Frances Arnold is the Linus Pauling 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 has most recently been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the directed evolution of enzymes," now becoming the 5th woman ever to receive the award. has been recognized by induction into the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She was awarded the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the NAE, the Millennium Technology Prize, and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. She chairs the Advisory Panel of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships in Science and Engineering; she is also a Director and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee of Illumina, Inc. Arnold co-founded Gevo, Inc. in 2005 to make fuels and chemicals from renewable resources and Provivi, Inc. in 2014 to develop non-toxic modes of agricultural pest control. She received her BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and her PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley.