Four BPS Members Win 2013 Nobel Prizes

 

The Biophysical Society congratulates members Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel, who were jointly awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems,” as well as member James Rothman, who received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof  “for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.”

 

 Karplus, a professor emeritus at Université de Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University, has been a member of the Biophysical Society since 2002, He received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 1953.Warshel, a professor at the University of Southern California, joined the Biophysical Society in 1982. He is the recipient of  2014 Biophysical Founders Award and will be speaking at the Awards Symposium during the Society's Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, Feburary 15–19, 2014. He received his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, in 1971. 
 Levitt, a professor at Stanford University, has been a member of the Biophysical Society since 2011. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Biophysical Journal. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, in 1971. Rothman, a professor at Yale University, joined the Biophysical Society in 2013. He received his PhD from Harvard Medical School in 1976. Speaking about the significance of Karplus, Levitt, and Warshel’s work to biophysics, Society President Francisco Bezanilla noted, “the advances on computational chemistry by the chemistry Nobel Prize winners have had a significant impact in biophysics-- bridging the gap between experimental and theoretical biophysics and providing new insights on molecular mechanisms.

Speaking about the significance of Karplus, Levitt, and Warshel’s work to biophysics, Society President Francisco Bezanilla noted, “the advances on computational chemistry by the chemistry Nobel Prize winners have had a significant impact in biophysics-- bridging the gap between experimental and theoretical biophysics and providing new insights on molecular mechanisms.

”In regards to the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, Society President-Elect Dorothy Beckett said, “James Rothman and colleagues are responsible for determining the mechanism of vesicle trafficking that forms the basis of intra- and intercellular transport of a broad range of substances including hormones, growth factors and neurotransmitters. The research has yielded molecular level understanding of numerous cellular processes including neural signal transmission, hormone transport, and nutrient uptake.”

The recipients will receive their awards on December 10 at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, Sweden.