Sason Shaik

Born September 1st 1948 in Bagdad, Iraq.

Director of the Lise Meitner-Minerva Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry. Head of a group of theoretical chemistry in the Institute of Chemistry of the Hebrew University, Israel
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B.Sc. M.Sc. Bar Ilan University (1974); Ph.D. The University of Washington (1978); Postdoc Cornell University (1979); Fulbright Fellow (1974-1979); The Israel Chemical Society (ICS) Award for the Outstanding Young Chemist (1988); The Kahlbaum Lectureship (The University of Basel, 1988); Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (1995-1999, 2014-5); The A. D. Bergmann Prize (1995); The Troisieme Cycle Lecturer of the French Speaking Swiss (Friebourg, Berne, Neuchatel, Geneve,1995; Basel, 1997); The ICS Excellence Award (2000); The Kolthoff Prize (2001); Elected to the Scientific Board of WATOC (2002); Fellow of the AAAS (2003); The Kurt -Alder Lectureship (University of Köln, 2004); The Minnesota Graduate-Students Lectureship (The University of Minnesota, 2004); The Charles Coulson Lectureship (University of Georgia, Athens, 2005); The Christmas Lectureship (University of Heidelberg, 2006); The IQBC Lectureship (Prague, 2007); Leonard N. Owen Lectureship (Imperial College, 2010); The International Lectureship Series for Computational Science (Cape Town University, 2010); The Frontiers in Bioinorganic Chemistry Lectureship (Max Planck Institute in Mülheim, 2012); The Scrocco Lectureship (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa , 2013); The Lu Jiaxi Lectureship (The State Key laboratory, Xiamen, China, 2013); Selected to be included in "175 faces in chemistry" (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013); The Schrödinger Medal (2007); WATOC Fellow (2007); The August-Wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Dekmünze (Medal) (German Chemical Society, 2012).

Author of:

Approximately 500 papers in chemistry journals including several books and book chapters.

Important Contributions:

  • Development of selection rules for spin inversion in organic photochemistry.
  • Developed a general model of chemical reactivity based on valence bond (VB) theory, and demonstrated its utility from H +H2 all the way to reactions of metallo-enzymes.
  • Used VB calculations to probe bonding, excited states of molecules and radicals, and reactivity, and provided the means and models to comprehend the computational results.
  • Developed the two-state reactivity (TSR) concept in bioinorganic chemistry, and demonstrated its widespread applicability to transition metal species and metallo enzymes (Cytochrome P450, Heme peroxidases, Heme oxygenases, nonheme enzyme, like alpha-ketoglutarate dependent enzymes, vs. their synthetic models).
  • Catalytic cycles of P450s. How do substrate binding and water aqueducts cause these catalytic cycles to cycle?
  • Development of the exchange-enhanced reactivity (EER) concept, followed by its applications to transition metal species and metallo-enzymes.
  • Understanding catalysis.
  • Exploration of DNA/RNA repair mechanisms.
  • Development of new bonding concepts and motifs; charge-shift bonding (CSB) and bonding in parallel spins (BPS).
  • Explored and established rules for the effects of oriented external electric fields on chemical reactivity of enzymatic and organic reactions.
  • Development of models for halogen bonds, CH---HC interactions, and other weak interactions.
  • Questioning "common wisdom": the nature of the π-electronic systems of benzene and other conjugated systems; the limitations and significances of the Bronsted coefficients, slopes of Hammett plots, Reactivity-Selectivity Principle, Bell-Evans-Polanyi Principle, etc.; the glass ceiling of multiple bonding in main elements.