Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Proteomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Alumni Awarded Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Published: Monday, October 14, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Professor Michael Levitt, Professor Arieh Warshel and Professor Martin Karplus awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

This latest accolade takes the total number of Nobel Prizes awarded for work undertaken at the much-lauded Laboratory of Molecular Biology to 10 and the total number of prizes awarded to MRC-funded scientists to 21 in its 100 year history.
 
A key part of the Nobel Prize-winning research was undertaken at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), in the Structural Studies Division, in the 1970s. Together the work of all three LMB alumni has been developed further and enables modern chemists to simulate complex chemical reactions on a computer. This ability has allowed for much deeper understanding of how chemical processes happen.
 
Michael Levitt came to LMB as a PhD student in 1968, having first met Arieh Warshel while working as a visitor at the Weizmann Institute, Israel. At the Weizmann, Michael had become interested in protein conformation analysis and had written a general computer programme for studying the conformations of small molecules. He realised that the same programme could form the basis of a system for studying larger molecules. It was this system that Michael developed at LMB during his PhD work.
 
Martin Karplus, who had a research group in Harvard, was a visitor to LMB from1969 to 1970. He and Arieh worked together at Harvard in the early 1970s; Arieh combined his work with Michael on the classical computer program with Martin’s work on quantum physics. In 1972 Martin and Arieh published a paper showing for the first time how to combine classical and quantum physics when modelling retinal, a molecule embedded in the retina of the eye.
 
After undertaking post-doctoral work at the Weizmann, Michael returned to the LMB in 1974 and was joined by Arieh. During this time the final obstacles were overcome and two important papers were published in 1975 and 1976. The 1976 paper was the first computerised model of an enzymatic reaction, and for the first time allowed any kind of chemical reaction to be simulated involving any kind of molecule, irrespective of size.
 
Michael recently reflected on lessons learned during his time at the LMB and working with director Professor Max Perutz in a chapter for the book Memories and Consequences: Visiting Scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge. He wrote:
 
“In compiling these lessons, it became clear that Max Perutz had influenced me more than anyone else. I have published papers with Max, Francis [Crick] and Aaron [Klug], worked most closely with Aaron Klug and spent two years as Francis Crick’s only postdoctoral fellow shortly after he moved to the Salk Institute in 1977. Max Perutz’s influence on me has been like a fine wine, a little strange at first but maturing over 50 years to be a guiding light to me and, I imagine, to countless others.”
 
Professor Richard Henderson, former Director at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and former head of the Structural Studies Division, commented:
 
“Their early work on energy minimisation and its evolution into molecular dynamics has developed into a world-wide industry. It has permeated into all aspects of structural biology, from protein folding to drug design, to supramolecular interactions. Hopefully, it will soon be possible to compute the structure of almost everything, even if not with perfect accuracy.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Immune Organ Regenerated in Mice
Scientists have for the first time used regenerative medicine to fully restore a degenerated organ in a living animal.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Study Leads to Alzheimer's Breakthrough
Researchers at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit have used an orally-administered compound to block a major pathway leading to brain cell death in mice, preventing neurodegeneration.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
A Phenomenal Legacy for London 2012
The Phenome Centre will use the cutting edge facilities developed for London 2012 to help develop better and more targeted treatment for patients.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Scientific News
The Genetic Roots of Adolescent Scoliosis
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in collaboration with Keio University in Japan have discovered a gene that is linked to susceptibility of Scoliosis.
HIV Susceptibility Linked to Little-Understood Immune Cell Class
High levels of diversity among immune cells called natural killer cells may strongly predispose people to infection by HIV, and may be driven by prior viral exposures, according to a new study.
New Tech Enables Epigenomic Analysis with a Mere 100 Cells
A new technology that will dramatically enhance investigations of epigenomes, the machinery that turns on and off genes and a very prominent field of study in diseases such as stem cell differentiation, inflammation and cancer has been developed by researchers at Virginia Tech.
TOPLESS Plants Provide Clues to Human Molecular Interactions
Scientists at Van Andel Research Institute have revealed an important molecular mechanism in plants that has significant similarities to certain signaling mechanisms in humans, which are closely linked to early embryonic development and to diseases such as cancer.
Toxin from Salmonid Fish has Potential to Treat Cancer
Researchers from the University of Freiburg decode molecular mechanism of fish pathogen.
Study Finds Non-Genetic Cancer Mechanism
Cancer can be caused solely by protein imbalances within cells, a study of ovarian cancer has found.
Long-sought Discovery Fills in Missing Details of Cell 'Switchboard'
A biomedical breakthrough reveals never-before-seen details of the human body’s cellular switchboard that regulates sensory and hormonal responses.
Rice Disease-Resistance Discovery Closes the Loop for Scientific Integrity
Researchers reveal how disease resistant rice detects and responds to bacterial infections.
The Mystery of the Instant Noodle Chromosomes
Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University evaluated the benefits of placing the DNA on the principle of spaghetti.
New Mussel-Inspired Surgical Protein Glue
Korean scientists have developed a light-activated, mussel protein-based bioadhesive that works on the same principles as mussels attaching to underwater surfaces and insects maintaining structural balance and flexibility.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!