Beckman Institute researcher Klaus Schulten has been awarded the Biophysical Society’s Distinguished Service Award for 2013. Schulten will be honored at the Society’s annual meeting, to be held Feb. 2-6, 2013, in Philadelphia.
Schulten is leader of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics (TCB) group at Beckman. Under Schulten’s direction, TCB has been an innovator for more than two decades in developing software for molecular scale, dynamic simulations that give unprecedented insight into biological structures and processes.
Schulten was honored by the Biophysical Society for “laying the groundwork for the realistic molecular dynamic simulations of biological macromolecules on time scales that match the physiological realm, and for making the methods and software openly available.”
Two of the programs developed by Schulten and his group, VMD and NAMD, have more than 200,000 registered users worldwide. Schulten has used the software for scientific discoveries as well as for groundbreaking simulations, such as visualizing the gating mechanism involved in generating and controlling nerve cell signals, and the first-ever simulation of an entire life form, the satellite tobacco mosaic virus.
Schulten, who is a Swanlund Professor of Physics at Illinois, was named a Fellow of the Biophysical Society in 2011. The Distinguished Service Award is given to those who have “made an exceptional contribution to the field of biophysics and in its advancement outside of research.”
The Biophysical Society’s website states that it is a professional, scientific society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics with more than 9,000 members worldwide in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry.