Michael Levitt

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Michael Levitt
Nobel Prize Laureate Michael Levitt during press conference in Stockholm, December 2013.
Nobel Prize Laureate Michael Levitt during 2013 press conference in Stockholm
Native name מיכאל לויט
Born (1947-05-09) 9 May 1947 (age 70)[1]
Pretoria, South Africa
Citizenship American, Israeli, British[citation needed]
Alma mater
Spouse(s) Rina[2]
Awards
Website csb.stanford.edu/levitt
med.stanford.edu/profiles/Michael_Levitt
Scientific career
Fields
Institutions
Thesis Conformation analysis of proteins (1972)
Doctoral advisor Robert Diamond[8]
Doctoral students
Other notable students

Michael Levitt, FRS (Hebrew: מיכאל לויט‎‎; born 9 May 1947) is an American-British-Israeli[16] biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, a position he has held since 1987.[17][18] Levitt received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry,[19] together with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel, for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".[20][21][22][23][24]

Education and early life[edit]

Michael Levitt was born in Pretoria, South Africa, to a Jewish family from Plungė, Lithuania; his father was Lithuanian and his mother is of Czech descent.[25] He attended Sunnyside Primary School and then Pretoria Boys High School between 1960 and 1962. The family moved to England when he was 15.[26] Levitt spent 1963 studying applied mathematics at the University of Pretoria.[27] He attended King's College London, graduating with a first-class honours degree in Physics in 1967.[28][1][29]

In 1967, he visited Israel for the first time. Together with his Israeli wife, Rina,[2] a multimedia artist, he left to study at Cambridge, where his three children were born. In 1979, he returned to Israel and conducted research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, becoming an Israeli citizen in 1980. He served in the Israeli Defense Forces for six weeks in 1985. In 1986, he began teaching at Stanford, and since then has split his time between Israel and California.[26]

Career[edit]

Levitt was a PhD student in Computational Biology at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and was based at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology from 1968 to 1972, where he developed a computer program for studying the conformations of molecules that underpinned much of his later work.[30][31] In 1967, he was sent on behalf of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge, to Israel, to work at the Weizmann Institute of Science, with Professor Shneior Lifson[32] and a student of his – Arieh Warshel, of the Technion in Haifa. They were using computer modelling to understand the behaviour of biological molecules.[33]

He went on to gain a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

From 1980 to 1987, he was Professor of Chemical Physics at Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Thereafter, he has served as Professor of Structural biology, at Stanford University, California.

Research[edit]

Levitt was one of the first researchers to conduct molecular dynamics simulations of DNA and proteins and developed the first software for this purpose.[34][35][36][37] He is currently well known for developing approaches to predict macromolecular structures, having participated in many Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP) competitions,[38] where he criticised molecular dynamics for inability to refine protein structures.[39] He has also worked on simplified representations of protein structure for analysing folding and packing[40][41][42] and developing scoring systems for large-scale sequence-structure comparisons.[43][44] He has mentored many successful scientists, including Mark Gerstein and Ram Samudrala.[7][45][46] Cyrus Chothia was one of his colleagues.

Industrial collaboration[edit]

Levitt has served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the following companies: Oplon Ltd, Cocrystal Discovery, StemRad, Ltd, and Cengent Therapeutics, Inc.

Awards and honours[edit]

Levitt was elected an EMBO Member in 1983,[3] a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2001,[4] and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002,[47] and received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel, "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".[48] He received the DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences in 2014.[49] He was elected an ISCB Fellow by the International Society for Computational Biology in 2015.[5][50]

Personal life[edit]

Levitt holds American, British and Israeli citizenship (he is the 6th Israeli to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in under a decade).[51][52] Levitt spends time every year in Israel, where his wife and children live.[53][54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b LEVITT, Prof. Michael. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2003 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Michael Levitt – Photo Gallery". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Anon (1983). "Michael Levitt EMBO profile". people.embo.org. Heidelberg: European Molecular Biology Organization. 
  4. ^ a b "Professor Michael Levitt FRS". London: Royalsociety.org. 2011. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 

  5. ^ a b Anon (2017). "ISCB Fellows". iscb.org. International Society for Computational Biology. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Levitt, M. (2001). "The birth of computational structural biology". Nature Structural Biology. 8 (5): 392–393. PMID 11323711. doi:10.1038/87545. 
  7. ^ a b Michael Levitt's publications indexed by Google Scholar
  8. ^ Diamond, R.; Levitt, M. (1971). "A refinement of the structure of lysozyme". Biochemical Journal. 125 (4): 92P. PMC 1178298Freely accessible. PMID 5144255.  open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Michael Levitt at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  10. ^ "Past Colleagues". Csb.stanford.edu. Archived from the original on 2001-05-30. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Present Group". Csb.stanford.edu. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  12. ^ Daggett, V.; Levitt, M. (1993). "Protein Unfolding Pathways Explored Through Molecular Dynamics Simulations". Journal of Molecular Biology. 232 (2): 600–619. PMID 7688428. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1993.1414. 
  13. ^ Gerstein, M.; Levitt, M. (1997). "A structural census of the current population of protein sequences". PNAS. 94 (22): 11911–11916. Bibcode:1997PNAS...9411911G. PMC 23653Freely accessible. PMID 9342336. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.22.11911.  open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ Pethica, R. B.; Levitt, M.; Gough, J. (2012). "Evolutionarily consistent families in SCOP: Sequence, structure and function". BMC Structural Biology. 12: 27. PMC 3495643Freely accessible. PMID 23078280. doi:10.1186/1472-6807-12-27.  open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ Xia, Y.; Huang, E. S.; Levitt, M.; Samudrala, R. (2000). "Ab initio construction of protein tertiary structures using a hierarchical approach". Journal of Molecular Biology. 300 (1): 171–185. PMID 10864507. doi:10.1006/jmbi.2000.3835. 
  16. ^ "Ynetnews News – 2 Israeli-Americans awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry". Ynetnews. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  17. ^ "Levitt Lab Server | Computational Structural Biology". Csb.stanford.edu. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  18. ^ "Michael Levitt". Csb.stanford.edu\accessdate=2017-03-22. Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. 
  19. ^ Van Noorden, Richard (2013). "Modellers react to chemistry award: Nobel Prize proves that theorists can measure up to experimenters". Nature. 502 (7471): 280. Bibcode:2013Natur.502..280V. doi:10.1038/502280a. 
  20. ^ Van Noorden, R. (2013). "Computer modellers secure chemistry Nobels". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2013.13903. 
  21. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013" (PDF) (Press release). Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Chang, Kenneth (9 October 2013). "3 Researchers Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Michael Levitt – Facts". Nobelprize.org. 9 May 1947. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  24. ^ Biography, from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, United States Department of Energy
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ a b Ravidyesterday, Barak (10 October 2013). "Nobel laureate Michael Levitt tells Haaretz: 'I still feel 16, so I have no ego’ – World". Haaretz. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  28. ^ "King's College London Calendar: 1968-1969 Page 282". King's Collections. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  29. ^ "Michael Levitt 2 Page CV". Csb.stanford.edu. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  30. ^ Levitt, Michael (1972). Conformation analysis of proteins (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  31. ^ "Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Peterhouse alumnus". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  33. ^ Computer chemists win Nobel prize By James Morgan and Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 9 October 2013
  34. ^ Chothia, C.; Lesk, A. M.; Tramontano, A.; Levitt, M.; Smith-Gill, S. J.; Air, G.; Sheriff, S.; Padlan, E. A.; Davies, D.; Tulip, W. R.; Colman, P. M.; Spinelli, S.; Alzari, P. M.; Poljak, R. J. (1989). "Conformations of immunoglobulin hypervariable regions". Nature. 342 (6252): 877–883. Bibcode:1989Natur.342..877C. PMID 2687698. doi:10.1038/342877a0. 
  35. ^ Levitt, M.; Chothia, C. (1976). "Structural patterns in globular proteins". Nature. 261 (5561): 552–558. Bibcode:1976Natur.261..552L. PMID 934293. doi:10.1038/261552a0. 
  36. ^ Warshel, A.; Levitt, M. (1976). "Theoretical studies of enzymic reactions: Dielectric, electrostatic and steric stabilization of the carbonium ion in the reaction of lysozyme". Journal of Molecular Biology. 103 (2): 227–249. PMID 985660. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(76)90311-9. 
  37. ^ Levitt, M. (1976). "A simplified representation of protein conformations for rapid simulation of protein folding". Journal of Molecular Biology. 104 (1): 59–107. PMID 957439. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(76)90004-8. 
  38. ^ Chopra, G.; Kalisman, N.; Levitt, M. (2010). "Consistent refinement of submitted models at CASP using a knowledge-based potential". Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics. 78 (12): n/a–n/a. PMC 2911515Freely accessible. PMID 20589633. doi:10.1002/prot.22781. 
  39. ^ CASP participants usually did not try to use MD to avoid "a central embarrassment of molecular mechanics, namely that energy minimization or molecular dynamics generally leads to a model that is less like the experimental structure", Koehl, P; Levitt, M (1999). "A brighter future for protein structure prediction". Nature Structural Biology. 6 (2): 108–11. PMID 10048917. doi:10.1038/5794. 
  40. ^ Hinds, D. A.; Levitt, M. (1994). "Exploring conformational space with a simple lattice model for protein structure". Journal of Molecular Biology. 243 (4): 668–682. PMID 7966290. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(94)90040-X. 
  41. ^ Park, B.; Levitt, M. (1996). "Energy Functions that Discriminate X-ray and Near-native Folds from Well-constructed Decoys". Journal of Molecular Biology. 258 (2): 367–392. PMID 8627632. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1996.0256. 
  42. ^ Gerstein, M.; Tsai, J.; Levitt, M. (1995). "The Volume of Atoms on the Protein Surface: Calculated from Simulation, using Voronoi Polyhedra". Journal of Molecular Biology. 249 (5): 955–966. PMID 7540695. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1995.0351. 
  43. ^ Levitt, M.; Gerstein, M. (1998). "A unified statistical framework for sequence comparison and structure comparison". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 95 (11): 5913–5920. Bibcode:1998PNAS...95.5913L. PMC 34495Freely accessible. PMID 9600892. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.11.5913. 
  44. ^ Brenner, S. E.; Koehl, P.; Levitt, M. (2000). "The ASTRAL compendium for protein structure and sequence analysis". Nucleic Acids Research. 28 (1): 254–256. PMC 102434Freely accessible. PMID 10592239. doi:10.1093/nar/28.1.254. 
  45. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search[dead link]
  46. ^ Michael Levitt's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  47. ^ "Michael Levitt". Member Directory. National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  48. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013" (PDF). Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  49. ^ "2014 ASBMB Annual Awards: DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences". Asbmb.org. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  50. ^ "Feb 20, 2015: Meet the ISCB Fellows Class of 2015". Iscb.org. Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  51. ^ Pileggi, Tamar (9 October 2013). "Tiny Israel a Nobel heavyweight, especially in chemistry". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  52. ^ Solomon, Shoshanna. "Israelis lose out to US-German trio for Nobel medicine prize". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  53. ^ Ravid, Barak (9 October 2013). "Two Israeli scientists who emigrated to U.S. win Nobel Prize in Chemistry – World". Haaretz. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  54. ^ Nobel laureate: I didn't get tenure in Israel Yitzhak Benhorin, Washington, Ynet, 9 October 2013
Awards
Preceded by
Brian Kobilka
Robert Lefkowitz
Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate
2013
With: Martin Karplus
Arieh Warshel
Succeeded by
Eric Betzig
Stefan Hell
William E. Moerner