Peter Guy Wolynes

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Peter Wolnes
Born Peter Guy Wolynes
(1953-04-21) April 21, 1953 (age 64)
Chicago, Illinois
Citizenship United States
Nationality American
Fields Chemical Physics, Theoretical Chemistry, Systems Biology
Institutions Rice University, University of California, San Diego
Alma mater Indiana University, Harvard University
Known for Protein folding, Spin glass, Systems Biology
Notable awards ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry, Member of National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of American Physical Society, Fellow of Biophysical Society, Foreign Member of Royal Society

Peter Guy Wolynes is an American theoretical chemist and physicist. Since 2011 he has been a Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Science and Professor of Chemistry at Rice University. He is widely recognized for his significant contributions to the theories of protein folding, glasses, and gene networks. Previously he was James R. Eiszner Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Francis H.C. Crick Chair of Physical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego.

Education and early life[edit]

Peter G. Wolynes was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 21, 1953. He graduated from Indiana University in 1971 with an B.A in Chemistry, and from Harvard University with a Ph.D in Chemical Physics in 1976.

Career and research[edit]

After a brief postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with John Deutch,[1] in the fall of 1976 he became an Assistant Professor at the Chemistry department of Harvard University. In 1980 he moved to the University of Illinois, eventually becoming the Center for Advanced Study Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Biophysics. In 2000 he moved to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, as the Francis Crick Chair in the Physical Sciences. In addition to continuing his work on many body chemical physics, protein folding and structure prediction, he studied stochastic aspects of cell biology.[2] In 2011 he moved to Rice University as the Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Science, and Professor of Chemistry and Physics.[3]


He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Biophysical Society, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Foreign Member of the Royal Society.[4] In 2012, he received the ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry.[5]