Adventures on the Routes of Protein Evolution—In Memoriam Dan Salah Tawfik (1955–2021)

Colin Jackson, Agnes Toth-Petroczy, Rachel Kolodny, Florian Hollfelder, Monika Fuxreiter, Shina Caroline Lynn Kamerlin, Nobuhiko Tokuriki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Understanding how proteins evolved not only resolves mysteries of the past, but also helps address challenges of the future, particularly those relating to the design and engineering of new protein functions. Here we review the work of Dan S. Tawfik, one of the pioneers of this area, highlighting his seminal contributions in diverse fields such as protein design, high throughput screening, protein stability, fundamental enzyme-catalyzed reactions and promiscuity, that underpin biology and the origins of life. We discuss the influence of his work on how our models of enzyme and protein function have developed and how the main driving forces of molecular evolution were elucidated. The discovery of the rugged routes of evolution has enabled many practical applications, some which are now widely used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167462
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • catalytic promiscuity
  • enzymatic catalysis
  • high-throughput screening
  • primordial enzymes
  • protein evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology


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