Israeli Wins Nobel Prize

This year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry will be awarded to an Israeli professor, Arieh Warshel, who teaches in the United States.

Professor Warshel wasannounced Wednesday as a joint winner with Professor’s Martin Karplus from Austria and Michael Levitt from Britain.

The prize has been awarded for the development of multi-scale models for complex chemicalsystems. Professor Warshel – an Israeli citizen who lives in California and teaches at the University of South California – was the team’s senior chemistry expert. The winning team will split a $1.2 million prize fund, almost 4.3 million shekels.

The Nobel Prize Commitee, made the award recognizing the team’s work computerizing the understanding of the way in which protein cell’s behave and the meaning behind their movements. The ramifications of their work, paves the way for the treatment of many illnesses caused by the defective functioning of protein cells.

Warshel and Levitt both previously studied at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Warshel worked as a researcher at the institute and also spent time studying at Haifa’s Technion.

Warshel is among 11 Israelis to have won a Nobel Prize, and the fifth to win the award in Chemistry. Amazingly, he was not the only Israeli nominated for the Nobel chemistry prize this year, and was joined by two others, Professor Haim Sider and Professor Aharon Razin.

In 2011, the prize was picked up by Israeli Professor Dan Shechtman, from the Technion’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, who was recognized for his 1982 discovery of quasicrystals – which pack tightly together forming a mosaic type pattern. Originally his findings were rejected by scientific peers taking 30 years to be verified and acknowledged by the Nobel committee.

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