Combinatorial Chemistry: Doing It Nature's Way

Chemists usually analyze the properties of molecules one compound at a time. But that's not how nature does it. The immune system, for example, responds to diseases by turning out billions of antibodies and screening the whole lot to find one that works. Setting out to mimic the body's strategy, Peter Schultz pioneered a new "combinatorial" chemistry that is sweeping the most advanced labs and is widely used to search for drugs and other biologically active materials.

Not content to excel in academia, Schultz, 44, has also been busy founding companies: Affymax (1988), to hunt for new drugs; Symyx Technologies...

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