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03 - 05 Sept 2017 Cambridge, UK


 Professor Peter Wolynes

 Rice University, USA




Peter G. Wolynes was born in Chicago, Illinois April 21, 1953. He graduated with an A.B. from Indiana University in 1971 and received a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University in 1976. He spent most of the year as a postdoctoral fellow with John Deutch at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then spent from Fall 1976 to 1979 as an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry department at Harvard. 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. In 2011 he was named D.R. Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Science, with appointments in the departments of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Biosciences and Materials Science and Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Wolynes has been a visiting scholar for extended periods at the Max-Plank Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, the Institute for Theoretical Physics (UCSB), the Institute for Molecular Science (Okazaki, Japan) and the Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris, France). He was a Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence at the National Institute of Health, Hinshelwood Lecturer at Oxford, and the Linnett Visiting Professor at Cambridge.

Wolynes’s work across the spectrum of theoretical chemistry and biochemistry has been recognized by the 1986 ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, the 2000 Peter Debye Award for Physical Chemistry of the ACS, the Fresenius Award, the Joseph Hirschfelder Prize and the ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry 2012. For his work on the energy landscape theory of protein folding he received the 2004 Biological Physics Prize from the American Physical Society (now called the Max Delbrück Prize) and the 2008 Founders Award of the Biophysical Society. He received an honorary Doctor of Science from Indiana University in 1988 and an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University in 2010. He was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991. He is a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Biophysical Society. Wolynes has been elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2006, and to the German Academy of Sciences "Leopoldina," and as a Foreign Member to the Royal Society of London in 2007. He was named an Einstein Chair Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2010. In 2016 he was elected a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy.

In addition to continuing his work on many body chemical physics, the glass transition, protein folding and structure prediction, he is also studying stochastic aspects of cell biology, chromosome dynamics and the molecular mechanism of memory.