Donald Hilvert has been full Professor at the Organic Chemistry Laboratory of ETH Zurich since October 1, 1997. His group is developing general strategies for the design of proteins with customized catalytic properties. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the molecular origins of the catalytic powers of natural enzymes and their selectivity. Beyond that artificial biocatalysts may be useful in research, medicine and industry.
Professor Hilvert obtained his B.A. from Brown University, Rhode Island, in 1978. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, in 1983, with a dissertation under the supervision of Prof. R. Breslow. Following a postdoctoral work with Prof. E.T. Kaiser at Rockefeller University, New York, he joined the Scripps Research Institute as an assistant professor in 1986, where he was named associate professor in 1989 and full professor in 1993. He came to ETH Zurich as full Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1997.
Donald Hilvert was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, and the Emil Thomas Kaiser Award from the Protein Society. He received a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causis from Uppsala University and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.