Talk Title: “Motion: The Hallmark of Life. From Marsupials to Molecules”
Host: Professor Carla Mattos
Martin Karplus was born in Vienna, Austria, and moved with his parents and brother to the United States in 1938. He was an undergraduate at Harvard College and went to the California Institute of Technology, where he received his PhD in Chemistry under Linus Pauling in 1953. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in Oxford, England, before returning to the USA to join the faculty at the University of Illinois. In 1966 he became Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University, where he continues to do research. In 1996, he also became Profeseur Conventionné at the Université Louis Pasteur. He and his wife, Marci, divide their time between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Strasbourg, France. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a foreign member of the Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Royal Society of London. In 2013 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.
The research of Professor Martin Karplus and his group is directed toward understanding the electronic structure, geometry, and dynamics of molecules of chemical and biological interest. In each study a problem that needs to be solved is isolated and the methods required are developed and applied. He has developed techniques of ab initio and semi-empirical quantum mechanics, theoretical and computational statistical mechanics, classical and quantum dynamics among others. In addition to contributing substantially in the field of solution dynamics and thermodynamics, Professor Karplus has made invaluable contributions to our understanding of protein and nucleic acid structure, dynamics and energetics.
To learn more about Dr. Karplus’ research, click here.