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Arieh Warshel

(2013 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Academician of the USA National Academy of Sciences)


Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2013)

Member of the USA National Academy of Sciences

Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry


Arieh Warshel was born in Kibbutz Sde-Nahum in Israel in 1940. After serving in the Israeli Army (1958-1962; Reserved Rank Captain), he attended the Technion, Haifa, where he received his BSc degree in Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude, in 1966. Subsequently, he earned both MSc and PhD degrees in Chemical Physics (in 1967 and 1969 respectively), from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, with Shneior Lifson. After his PhD, he did a postdoctoral work at Harvard University. From 1972 to 1976, he was a Senior Scientist and Associate Professor at the Weizmann Institute. In parallel he was an EMBO fellow at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, between 1974 and 1976. In 1976 he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Southern California, where he now is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the holder of the Dana and David Dornsife Chair in Chemistry. Prof. Warshel has authored over 390 peer-reviewed research articles, as well as a 1991 book entitled “Computer Modeling of Chemical Reactions in Enzymes and Solutions”. He also co-developed key computer programs for molecular simulations, which are now being widely used in different incarnations. Warshel and his coworkers have pioneered key approaches for simulating the functions of biological molecules, including introducing molecular dynamics in biology, developing the quantum mechanical/molecular-mechanical (QM/MM) approach, introducing simulations of enzymatic reactions, pioneering microscopic simulations of electron transfer and proton transfer processes in solutions and in proteins, pioneering microscopic modeling of electrostatic effects in macromolecules and introducing simulations of protein folding . He and his coworkers have elucidated recently the molecular origin of the vectorial action of molecular machines. Prof. Warshel has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; he is a Member of the USA National Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He also received numerous awards, including the Tolman Medal in 2003, the RSC 2012 Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award, and the 2014 Founders Award of the Biophysical Society.