Martin Karplus


Born March 15, 1930 in Vienna, Austria.

Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA.
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Westinghouse Science Talent Search Scholarship (1947); Fresenius Award of Phi Lambda Epsilon (1965); Harrison Howe Award, Rochester Section, American Chemical Society (1967); Award for Outstanding Contribution to Quantum Biology, International Society of Quantum Biology (1979); Distinguished Alumni Award, California Institute of Technology (1986); Irving Langmuir Award, American Physical Society (1987); National Lecturer, Biophysical Society (1991); Theoretical Chemistry Award, American Chemical Society (1993) (first recipient); Computers in Chemical & Pharmaceutical Research Award, ACS, 2001; Foreign Member, The Royal Society, UK.

Author of:

Atoms and Molecules: An Introduction for Students of Physical Chemistry, M. Karplus and R.N. Porter, (Benjamin, 1970). Proteins: A Theoretical Perspective of Dynamics, Structure & Thermodynamics, Adv. Chem. Phys. LXXI, C.L. Brooks III, M. Karplus and B.M. Pettitt, (John Wiley & Sons 1988). Plus over 700 scientific papers.

Important Contributions:

The research of Dr. Karplus is in theoretical chemistry, including the electronic interpretation of NMR and ESR spectra of molecules, the development of techniques for the evaluation of molecular properties, and the formulation of detailed models for chemical reactions. His recent work is concerned with molecules that play an important role in living systems. He has applied energy minimization, dynamical and statistical mechanical methods to study the structure and function of proteins. He has developed methods for using molecular dynamics with NMR or x-ray data for determining protein and nucleic acid structures. He has undertaken a detailed study of the effect of solvent on the dynamics of peptides and on the enzymatic activity of proteins and has shown how free energy simulations can be used to obtain a deeper understanding of macromolecular interactions. A focus of his present research concerns biomolecular motor protein complexes, including F1ATPase and GroEL.