Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award 2012 Winner

Professor Arieh Warshel
Professor Arieh Warshel
University of Southern California

Awarded for his numerous ground-breaking developments in computational biophysical chemistry, that paved the way to the elucidation of protein structure/function relationships.

About the Winner

Professor Arieh Warshel was born in Israel in 1940. He attended the Technion ,where he received his BSc degree in Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude, in 1966. He earned both MSc and PhD degrees in Chemical Physics (in 1967 and 1969 respectively), from the Weizmann Institute of Science, with Shneior Lifson. He then did a postdoctoral work at Harvard University and From 1972 to 1976, he was at the Weizmann Institute and at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. In 1976 he joined the Department of Chemistry at USC, where he now is a distinguish Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Professor Warshel pioneered computer modeling of the function of proteins and introduced the key ideas in the emerging field of simulations of biological processes on a molecular level.  His work paved the way for describing and analyzing biological functions through well-defined chemical physics concepts . Professor Warshel's  innovations include the development of the hybrid quantum/ molecular mechanics methods, that led to him to the introduction of quantitative studies of enzymatic reactions, and formed the foundation of what is now a major scientific discipline.  He also pioneered molecular dynamics simulations in biology and physically consistent electrostatic modeling of proteins, showing that electrostatic effects control most biological functions.  In addition, he co-developed the program that remains the basis for almost  all molecular modeling packages today, as well as a simplified model for protein folding, which stands at the root of most current studies of protein folding.
Professor Warshel  who is regarded as the founder of computational enzymology has received several awards, including the Tolman Medal in 2003. He was elected a Fellow of the Biophysical Society in 2000, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2008, and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009. 

Related Links

Link icon Warshel Group
Professor Warshel's Research Group

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