Press Interview with Arieh Warshel

Transcript of the telephone press interview with Arieh Warshel following the announcement of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on 9 October 2013. The interviewer is Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

[SN] Are you there Professor Warshel?

[AW] Yes.

[SN] Congratulations, so how do you feel at this very early morning time for you?

[AW] Extremely, extremely well.

[SN] (Laughs) That’s good to hear. I’m sitting here in the session hall of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. And in front of me …

[AW] I see you.

[SN] Oh, you see as well. Well we have a lot of persons from the media all over the world. And are you willing to take some questions from them?

[AW] Very glad to.

[SN] Do we have a question?

[AW] Yes.

[MGA] Yes, hello Professor Warshel, my name is Maria Gunther Axelsson and I’m writing for the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. First, congratulations to the prize.

[SN] Thank you very much.

[MGA] Yes, and we just had a presentation here on what you have done. Could you just say something that have been easier to understand now that you couldn’t understand before you had this …

[AW] Usually I say it in a more complex way, but what we done, from what I was able to see from the presentation by Gunnar, is to develop methods that allow [line cracks] how proteins actually work. Because x-ray structure … exists for some time and it’s like seeing a watch and wondering how actually it works. So in short what we developed is a way which requires a computer to look, to take the structure of a protein and then to eventually understand how exactly it does what it does. Like if you have enzymes that digest food, and the structure exists, you want to understand how this is happening, and then you can use it for example to design drugs or just, like in my case, to satisfy your curiosity.

[SN] Ok, thank you. You had a question?

[JR] Hello, my name is Joanna Rose, I am writing for a Swedish popular science magazine Forskning och Framsteg. Congratulations to the prize. I’m curious about what is the work that you are doing now? Presently?

[AW] I am now using the, I saw it in the presentation … On one hand I continue to this combined quantum molecular mechanics to understand how proteins that are responsible to transfer signals in the cells, how they exactly work. So this is like thirty percent of what I’m doing, and I also use this simpler representation to understand how molecules, how molecular motors work. To understand how very complex molecules are working. So all the time, its how the things are working, and every time it is for a more complex question. 

[SN] Ok, thank you very much, I see any more questions here? I don’t think so, so thank you once again Professor Warshel and congratulations. We are looking forward all to see you here in Stockholm in December for the Nobel Prize Ceremony. Bye.

[AW] Thank you, thank you very much, and looking forward.

Listen to the Press Interview with Arieh Warshel (4:00)

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