Three scientists who developed computer programs for simulating complex chemical experiments key to the design of new drugs have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Austrian-born Martin Karplus, a professor at the University of Strasbourg and Harvard University, Stanford University's Michael Levitt and University of California-Los Angeles researcher Arieh Warshel were named Wednesday in Stockholm. The three will share the $1.25 million award.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the prize, named the trio for research begun in the 1970s that led to the use of quantum physics to visualize how large, complex molecules behave.
University of Minnesota chemist Chris Cramer said the prize-winning research has proven invaluable in simulating how an experimental drug will react with enzymes that govern chemical reactions in living organisms. He said those models have become so accurate that they predict what happens in real time.
Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.