Carolyn Bertozzi

Professor of Chemistry

office: 820 Latimer Hall
phone: 510.643.1682
fax: 510.643.2628
lab: D86-D79 Hildebrand
lab phone: 510.643.2223, 510.643.8889, 510.643.4386

Research Group URL
Recent Publications

Research Interests

Chemical Glycobiology, Bionanotechnology

The Bertozzi group studies cell surface interactions that contribute to human health and disease with specific projects in the areas of cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection. We use the techniques of organic synthesis, genetics and biochemistry as tools to study and manipulate complex cellular processes. Much of our research involves cell surface oligosaccharides, biopolymers that contribute to cell surface recognition and cell-cell communication, and that pose challenging synthetic targets. In addition to our work in the chemical biology of glycosylation, we have a program in biomaterials centered at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Three major areas of research in the lab span the disciplines of chemistry and biology. First, we are investigating new strategies for engineering novel chemistry on cell surfaces. We exploit the unnatural substrate tolerance of certain enzymes involved in oligosaccharide biosynthesis for the metabolic incorporation of unnatural sugars into cell surface-bound macromolecules. The cell surface display of unnatural sugars bearing uniquely reactive functional groups allows for chemical remodeling using highly selective condensation reactions. Applications of the technology include targeted gene delivery and anti-tumor diagnostics.

Second, we are studying biological sulfation pathways that serve a regulatory during an inflammatory response in humans and during mycobacterial infection. Using genomics approaches, we have identified genes encoding sulfating enzymes that contribute to inflammation, tumor metastasis and possibly microbial infection. These discoveries have prompted new projects in enzymology and in library design and synthesis for the discovery of leads for drug development. In addition, we are synthesizing sulfated oligosaccharides produced by mycobacterial pathogens in order to elucidate their interactions with the host immune response.

Finally, we are exploring new methods for the synthesis of homogeneous glycoproteins and their mimetics. One approach involves the identification of difficult linkages within a glycoprotein and the substitution of those linkages, where tolerable, with a more facile bond. Other approaches merge the techniques of recombinant expression and metabolic engineering to produce novel glycoprotein structures within biological activity.


Professor, born 1966; A.B. Harvard University (1988); Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (1993); elected member of the Institute of Medicine (2011); Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award for Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry (2011); Lemelson-MIT Prize (2010); NIH/NIGMS Merit Award (2009); Albert Hofmann Medal (Univ. Zurich) (2009); Harrison Howe Award (2009); W. H. Nichols Award (2009); Willard Gibbs Medal (2008); Elected member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2008); Roy L. Whistler International Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry (2008); Li Ka Shing Women in Science Award (2008); Ernst Schering Prize (2007); Elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2005); T.Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry (2005); Havinga Medal, Univ. Leiden (2005); Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award (2004); Elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003); Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award of the Protein Society (2002); Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002); Donald Sterling Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2001); UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award (2001); ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (2001); Merck Academic Development Program Award (2000); UC Berkeley Department of Chemistry Teaching Award (2000); Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) (2000); MacArthur Foundation Award (1999); Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1999); Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (ACS) (1999); Joel H. Hildebrand Chair in Chemistry (1998-2000); Beckman Young Investigator Award (1998); Prytanean Faculty Award (1998); Glaxo Wellcome Scholar (1998); Research Corporation Research Innovation Award (1998); Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (1998); Horace S. Isbell Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry (ACS) (1997); Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1997); Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator Award in Pharmacology (1997); Pew Scholars Award in the Biomedical Sciences (1996); Exxon Education Fund Young Investigator Award (1996); Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award (1995)