Nobel Prize Winner Visits Dulwich International High School Zhuhai
We Welcome Biochemist and Biophysicist, Professor Arieh Warshel
It was our pleasure to host one of the most acclaimed scientists in the world at Dulwich Zhuhai. Dr Arieh Warshel (Born 1940), is an Israeli-American biochemist and biophysicist. He is a pioneer in computational studies on functional properties of biological molecules, and gave a lecture to our students and staff about his science and discoveries.
Professor Warshel is known for his work on computational biochemistry and biophysics, in particular for pioneering computer simulations of the functions of biological systems, and for developing what is known today as Computational Enzymology. He explained some of the difficulties he faced when researching, to the students, as when he was breaking new ground in his field (1960’s) the available computers were massive with less computing power than many of the student’s phones in their pockets.
DHZH Biology teacher Kenny Li said, “The presentation gave our students an insight of the work of Nobel Prize Winner Ariel Warshel. Prof Warshel introduced three examples of Biological processes: Enzyme reactions, muscle contraction and how ATP is formed in our cells. These are critical for maintaining and allowing our bodies to function normally. However, the science behind how and why these occur remained unclear until the work of Prof Warshel et al allowed these to be elucidated. This involved developing computer based models based on the energy required to break bonds between amino acids, the building blocks of proteins which are responsible for all the functions in our bodies. The presentation will serve to be very valuable to Year 12 and 13 Biology students whom will encounter these examples in their syllabus.” Our students enjoyed his lecture very much.
News of the Professor’s visit was noticed by the local media that joined our students and staff eager to hear from the Nobel Prize Winner. After the lecture, Professor Warshel was gracious enough to spend time with students, answer questions and sign autographs. Director of DHZH, Andrew Macdonald-Brown, also took the professor on a tour of the schools campus and facilities.
Professor Warshel is in China visiting the Zhuhai Nobel Institute of Biomedicine and his visit to our school was accompanied by Dr Ziwei Huang. DHZH would like to thank Zhuhai Nobel Institute of Biomedicine for making this visit possible.
The Nobel Prize is awarded to individuals, small groups or organisations for outstanding contributions for humanity in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, or physiology or medicine.