February 8, 2023
Tom Morello's Former Harvard Bandmate Is Now a Nobel Prize Winner


Did you know that Tom Morello used to be in a band with a now-Nobel Prize winner?

That’s right. This week, Stanford chemist Carolyn Bertozzi received the Nobel Prize in chemistry, as CNN reported. And wouldn’t you know it, Morello, the Rage Against the Machine guitarist and prolific solo artist, played music with her back in his Harvard days.

That’s what the influential rocker also behind The Nightwatchman, Prophets of Rage and The Atlas Underground revealed in a social media post on Wednesday (Oct. 5).

That day, the chemistry Nobel was awarded to Bertozzi along with Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless for the three scientists’ work in the fields of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry. Their research has “led to a revolution in how chemists think about linking molecules together,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the chemistry prize, explained.

Sharing a photo from his youth alongside a shot of Bertozzi, Morello remarked, “Congratulations to my former Harvard bandmate @carolyn.bertozzi on her Nobel Prize in chemistry!”

The musician added, “We won the Ivy League Battle of the Bands in 1986 with our rockin’ group ‘Bored of Education,’ with her on keyboards & me in spandex.”

Morello graduated from Harvard University that same year. Bertozzi completed her Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, after she graduated from Harvard.

Bertozzi founded the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, according to Stanford. It’s a set of chemical reactions that allow researchers to study molecules and their interactions in living things without interfering with natural biological processes.

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said, “I could not be more delighted that Carolyn Bertozzi has won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. In pioneering the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, Carolyn invented a new way of studying biomolecular processes, one that has helped scientists around the world gain deeper understanding of chemical reactions.”

In 2019, Rage Against the Machine reunited for the second time. In July, the influential rap-rockers played their first show in 11 years. However, earlier this week, the band canceled a tour planned for 2023.

Tom Morello Congratulates Former Bandmate on Nobel Prize – Oct. 5, 2022

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