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Born on this day
Nadine Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer is a writer, political activist and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
47th week in year
20 November 2023

Important personalitiesBack

Arieh Warshel20.11.1940

Wikipedia (06 Jan 2014, 08:04)

Arieh Warshel (Hebrew: אריה ורשל, born November 20, 1940) is an Israeli-American Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Southern California. He received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".


Born in 1940 in kibbutz Sde Nahum, then under the British Mandate of Palestine (now in Israel). Served in the Israeli Armored Corps. After serving the Israeli Army (final rank Captain), Warshel 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), with Shneior Lifson, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. After his PhD, he did postdoctoral work at Harvard University until 1972, and from 1972 to 1976 he returned to the Weizmann Institute and worked for the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England. In 1976 he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at USC. He was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

As a soldier, he fought in both the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, attaining the rank of captain in the IDF.


Warshel is known for his work on computational biochemistry and biophysics, in particular for pioneering computer simulations of the functions of biological systems, and for developing what is known today as Computational Enzymology. He is a member of many scientific organisations, most importantly:
- Elected member of the United States National Academy of Sciences (2009)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2008)
- Fellow of the Biophysical Society (2000)
- Alfred P. Sloan fellow (1978)


- Annual Award of the International Society of Quantum Biology and Pharmacology (1993)
- Tolman Medal (2003)
- President’s award for computational biology from the ISQBP (2006)
- RSC Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award (2012)
- Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2013) together with Martin Karplus and Michael Levitt for "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".

Major research achievements

Arieh Warshel made major contributions in introducing computational methods for structure function correlation of biological molecules, pioneering and co-pioneering programs, methods and key concepts for detailed computational studies of functional properties of biological molecules using Cartesian-based force field programs, the combined Quantum Chemistry/Molecular mechanics (i.e., QM/MM) method for simulating enzymatic reactions, the first molecular dynamics simulation of a biological process, microscopic electrostatic models for proteins, free energy perturbation in proteins and other key advances. It was for the development of these methods that Warshel shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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