Vladimír Křen, Wolfgang Kroutil, Mélanie Hall
Kurt Faber, a synthetic organic chemist by training, strongly influenced the field of biocatalysis throughout the course of his four-decade career (from the late 1980s to the early 2020s). The evolution of his career has gone hand in hand with the development of biocatalysis into a mature and versatile discipline originally deep-rooted in organic chemistry that quickly integrated techniques from molecular biology. His work has provided numerous grounds for recognizing natural catalysts as essential tools in organic synthesis, complementing the more chemical approaches. An important aspect of Kurt Faber’s career encompasses teaching, mentoring, and encouraging the development of younger scientists worldwide. His book, Biotransformations in Organic Chemistry, now in its seventh edition, has become a recognized tool for training generations of chemists and biotechnologists and remains a reference worldwide. At Biotrans 2021, the 15th International Symposium on Biocatalysis and Biotransformations (originally scheduled to be held in Graz, Austria, and eventually held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Kurt Faber received the Biotrans senior award in recognition of his innovative contributions to the field. In this Account, we would like to acknowledge his contributions to the field of biocatalysis, highlighting both the growing importance of this discipline in many (industrial) sectors and the profound changes that have occurred in recent decades, while reflecting on some of Kurt Faber’s most important discoveries and his legacy to this field.
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