What Does the Future Hold?

What Does the Future Hold?


  • Martin Karplus, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
November 7, 2017 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm


Karplus will discuss the future of molecular dynamics simulations and their applications to systems of increasing size and complexity. Using Moore’s Law for biological simulations, he will describe predications as to when it will be possible to make straightforward molecular dynamics simulations to study a range of systems, many of which have already been approached with more specialized techniques.

Additional Information 

About the Speaker:

Martin Karplus, the Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Harvard University, has a primary research interest in the development and employment of theoretical methods to increase the understanding of chemical and biological problems. He is also the director of the Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Strasbourg in France. His work has involved the development of molecular dynamics and other simulation methods for the elucidation of the properties of proteins and nucleic acids, and he is currently studying enzymatic reactions, protein folding, and the function of biomolecular motors. His scientific contributions have been instrumental in the transformation of theory from a specialized field to a central part of modern chemistry, and more recently, of structural biology.

Karplus received his BA from Harvard College and his PhD from the California Institute for Technology, where he completed his studies under Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling. He was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Oxford University from 1953 until 1955, when he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois. In 1960 Karplus became a professor at Columbia University, and in 1966 he returned to his alma mater, Harvard University.

Karplus is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is a foreign member of the Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of London. He is a commander in the French Legion of Honor and has received honorary degrees from the University of Sherbrooke, the University of Zurich, and Bar-Ilan University. In 2013, he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the “development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.”

About the Seminar:

Hosted by ORNL’s Corporate Fellows, the Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecture Series promotes dialogue among Oak Ridge researchers and renowned leaders in science, industry, and government.

The visit will include small group discussions and a tour of the OLCF to provide staff the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Karplus.

Transportation to and from the Conference Center will be available the afternoon of the lecture. Shuttles will run to the main campus beginning at 1:00 p.m. ORNL buses will make pickups at the Spallation Neutron Source (1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.), Building 1520 (1:00 and 1:30 p.m.), and Building 7918 (1:00 p.m.). Buses will resume after the talk.

Refreshments will be served before the lecture. The talk will not be webcast live or recorded for later viewing.

Sponsoring Organization 

Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecture


  • Conference Center
  • Building: 5200
  • Room: Tennessee Rooms

Contact Information