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Nobel Laureate in Chemistry gives lecture at Umeå University

Press Release   •   Dec 11, 2013 08:00 GMT

Chemists used to create models of molecules using plastic balls and sticks. Today, the modelling is carried out in computers with the help of powerful software and lifelike computer models. It has become possible to visualize chemical reactions at lightning speed, for example how photosynthesis happens in a plant or how a drug acts on its target protein in the human body.

Martin Karplus’, Michael Levitt’s and Arieh Warshel’s work was ground breaking because they were able to combine classical physics and quantum physics to develop methods to simulate chemical reactions with powerful computer programmes. Their discoveries are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013.

Martin Karplus’ visit to Umeå University directly after the Nobel festivities is due to the fact that one of his former research students, Kwangho Nam, now works as an Assistant Professor at Umeå University. Kwangho Nam was a post doctoral student in Karplus’ laboratory at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, during 2006–2011.

– I was able to contact him quickly, because we are working closely together to finish-up several research projects that I initiated when I was in his lab, says Kwangho Nam. In fact, we have been communicating quite often in recent months.

Martin Karplus will give a lecture in Aula Nordica, Umeå University, at 10.00–11.00 on Friday 13 December. After the lecture, at 11.30–12.00 a pressconference will be held in Universitetsklubben. After that Karplus will take part in a genuine Lucia celebration in Aula Nordica at 12.10–12.30.

The lecture is open to staff, student and the public. Note that seats are limited in Aula Nordica, so make sure to be in time to secure a seat.

More about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 

More about Martin Karplus’ research

High resolution photo of Martin Karplus

High resolution photo of Kwangho Nam

Photo: Martin Karplus, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2013, will visit Umeå University on December 13. Photo: Stephanie Mitchell, Harvard University

For more information, please contact:

Kwangho Nam, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Umeå University
Phone: +46907866570, +46727187772

Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Umeå University
Phone: +46907865347, +46730345141

Umeå University
Umeå University is one of Sweden's largest institutions of higher learning with over 34,000 students and 4,200 employees. We have a well-established international research profile and a broad range of study options. Our campus constitutes an inspiring environment that encourages interdisciplinary meetings - between students, researchers, teachers and external stakeholders. Through collaboration with other members of society, we contribute to the development and strengthen the quality of our research and education.

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