|Native name||מיכאל לויט|
9 May 1947|
Pretoria, South Africa
|Education||Pretoria Boys High School|
King's College London (BScs)|
University of Cambridge (PhD)
|Thesis||Conformation analysis of proteins (1972)|
|Doctoral advisor||Robert Diamond|
Michael Levitt, FRS (Hebrew: מיכאל לויט; born 9 May 1947) is an American-British-Israeli biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, a position he has held since 1987. Levitt received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel, for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".
Early life and education
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. He attended Sunnyside Primary School and then Pretoria Boys High School between 1960 and 1962. The family moved to England when he was 15. Levitt spent 1963 studying applied mathematics at the University of Pretoria. He attended King's College London, graduating with a first-class honours degree in Physics in 1967.
In 1967, he visited Israel for the first time. Shneior Lifson, and a student of his – Arieh Warshel, of the Technion in Haifa. Together with his Israeli wife, Rina, a multimedia artist, he left to study at Cambridge, where his three children were born. 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.
Career and research
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 Israel Defense Forces for six weeks in 1985. In 1986, he began teaching at Stanford University, and since then has split his time between Israel and California. 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 the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot. Thereafter, he has served as Professor of Structural biology, at Stanford University, California.
- Royal Society Exchange Fellow, Weizmann Institute, Israel, 1967–68
- Staff Scientist, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, 1973–80
- Professor of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute, 1980–87 (dept. chair 1980–83)
- Professor of Structural Biology, Stanford University, 1987–present
Levitt was one of the first researchers to conduct molecular dynamics simulations of DNA and proteins and developed the first software for this purpose. 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, where he criticised molecular dynamics for inability to refine protein structures. He has also worked on simplified representations of protein structure for analysing folding and packing, as well as developing scoring systems for large-scale sequence-structure comparisons. He has mentored many successful scientists, including Mark Gerstein and Ram Samudrala. Cyrus Chothia was one of his colleagues.
Awards and honours
Levitt was elected an EMBO Member in 1983, a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2001, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002, 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". He received the DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences in 2014. He was elected an ISCB Fellow by the International Society for Computational Biology in 2015.
Levitt holds American, British and Israeli citizenship. He is the sixth Israeli to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in under a decade. Levitt spends time every year in Israel, where his wife, Rina, and children live.
- LEVITT, Prof. Michael. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2003 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription required)
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- Michael Levitt publications indexed by Google Scholar
- Levitt, Michael (1972). Conformation analysis of proteins (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.463153.
- Diamond, R.; Levitt, M. (1971). "A refinement of the structure of lysozyme". Biochemical Journal. 125 (4): 92P. PMC . PMID 5144255.
- Daggett, V.; Levitt, M. (1993). "Protein Unfolding Pathways Explored Through Molecular Dynamics Simulations". Journal of Molecular Biology. 232 (2): 600–619. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1993.1414. PMID 7688428.
- Gerstein, M.; Levitt, M. (1997). "A structural census of the current population of protein sequences". PNAS. 94 (22): 11911–11916. Bibcode:1997PNAS...9411911G. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.22.11911. PMC . PMID 9342336.
- Pethica, R. B.; Levitt, M.; Gough, J. (2012). "Evolutionarily consistent families in SCOP: Sequence, structure and function". BMC Structural Biology. 12: 27. doi:10.1186/1472-6807-12-27. PMC . PMID 23078280.
- 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. doi:10.1006/jmbi.2000.3835. PMID 10864507.
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"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.
- "Levitt Lab Server | Computational Structural Biology". Csb.stanford.edu. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
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- Biography, from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, United States Department of Energy
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Peterhouse alumnus". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- Fiske, Gavriel (9 October 2013). "3 Jewish professors – two of them Israeli – share 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- 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. doi:10.1038/342877a0. PMID 2687698.
- Levitt, M.; Chothia, C. (1976). "Structural patterns in globular proteins". Nature. 261 (5561): 552–558. Bibcode:1976Natur.261..552L. doi:10.1038/261552a0. PMID 934293.
- 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. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(76)90311-9. PMID 985660.
- Levitt, M. (1976). "A simplified representation of protein conformations for rapid simulation of protein folding". Journal of Molecular Biology. 104 (1): 59–107. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(76)90004-8. PMID 957439.
- 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. doi:10.1002/prot.22781. PMC . PMID 20589633.
- 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. doi:10.1038/5794. PMID 10048917.
- 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. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(94)90040-X. PMID 7966290.
- 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. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1996.0256. PMID 8627632.
- 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. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1995.0351. PMID 7540695.
- 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. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.11.5913. PMC . PMID 9600892.
- Brenner, S. E.; Koehl, P.; Levitt, M. (2000). "The ASTRAL compendium for protein structure and sequence analysis". Nucleic Acids Research. 28 (1): 254–256. doi:10.1093/nar/28.1.254. PMC . PMID 10592239.
- Michael Levitt publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
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- Nobel laureate: I didn't get tenure in Israel Yitzhak Benhorin, Washington, Ynet, 9 October 2013
| Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate
With: Martin Karplus
William E. Moerner