Technion graduate Arieh Warshel, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Southern California has won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus for “the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems”.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel had pioneered the use of computer models that mirror chemical reactions. The work also has applications in the use of complex processes in the development of drugs.
Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu immediately phoned new Nobel Laureate Arieh Warshel: “This is exceptionally impressive. We’re proud of you and people at Technion and Weizmann,” he said.
Arieh Warshel was born in 1940 in Kibbutz Sde-Nahum in Israel. He earned his undergraduate degree summa cum laude at the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, class of 1966 – which was the same year Distinguished Prof. Dan Shechtman (Nobel Laureate 2011) completed his BSc in mechanical engineering at the Technion. Warshel went on to complete advanced degrees at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and was an associate professor there until 1978, when he moved to the University of Southern California.
To date, three Technion professors have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2011, Prof. Dan Shechtman won for his discovery of quasicrystals, a new form of matter. In 2004, Professors Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko shared the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the role played by the protein ubiquitin in cell degradation.