Arieh Warshel


WarshelArieh Warshel

Israeli-American biochemist and biophysicist Arieh Warshel is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of South California. He received his Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus in 2013 for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.

After serving the Israeli army he studied chemistry at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and obtained his BSc degree with highest honour. He finished his PhD in 1969 at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and continued his studied at Harvard University till 1972, where he met Martin Karplus, an expert in quantum mechanics. Together they started to characterize the structure and resonance properties of the retinal molecule.

Since 1976 he continues to work at Weizmann Institute of Science and at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Cambridge University (UK). Since the same year he is affiliated with the University of South California as well.

In 1976 with Michael Levit he continued the development of a program, the concept of which they worked out as students in 1968. This program is based on combined Quantum Chemistry/Molecular mechanics (i.e., QM/MM) and is considered the first molecular dynamics simulation of a biological process.

He received the scientific community’s perhaps greatest honour, the Nobel Prize, for developing an efficient method for computer based molecular modelling, which facilitates the understanding of reactions, molecule behaviour and structure under in silico conditions. Simulation programs using a combination of Descartes coordinate-based simulation force fields and QM / MM calculations are the bases of biological modelling even nowadays.

Besides further developing molecular modelling, his group carries out studies in numerous other areas as well (computer simulation of enzymatic reactions, protein folding, electrostatic properties of molecules, behaviour of chemical reactions in different solutions etc.)

Moreover, Warshel in a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society of Chemistry and has honorary doctorate of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University.

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