Israeli professor shares 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli professor is among the winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Israeli-born and educated Arieh Warshel, a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Southern California, was named one of the Nobel winners on Wednesday morning. He shares the prize with Vienna-born Professor Martin Karplus of the Université de Strasbourg, France and Harvard University; and Pretoria-born Professor Michael Levitt of Stanford University.


They won the prize for “the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems,” because “computer models mirroring real life have become crucial for most advances made in chemistry today,” the Royal Swedish Academy said in a statement. ”Today the computer is just as important a tool for chemists as the test tube. Simulations are so realistic that they predict the outcome of traditional experiments.”

Warshel, 74, received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Technion in Haifa and his masters and PhD in chemical physics from the Weizmann Institute. He joined the faculty of USC in 1976.

On Tuesday, Francois Englert, a Belgian Jewish professor at Tel Aviv University and a Holocaust survivor, shared the Nobel Prize in physics with Peter Higgs of Britain. On Monday,  Jewish Americans James Rothman of Yale University and Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, joined German-born researcher Thomas Suedhof of Stanford University in winning  the Nobel Prize in medicine.