Israelis took pride in the fact that of the three 2013 Nobel chemistry laureates announced Wednesday, one (Arieh Warshel) was born in Israel and a second (Michael Levitt) worked here. Now it emerges that the third winner, Austrian-born Jewish chemist Martin Karplus, has a daughter who has called Jerusalem home for almost 30 years.
Rivka Karplus, a family physician and an internal medicine and infections specialist, settled in Israel in 1985 and has worked in numerous Israeli clinics and hospitals.
Karplus told Ynet that she learned of her father’s achievement only through news reports. ”For several years we had known that he was a candidate and I knew that they were about to announce the winners,” she said. “But suddenly, while driving the car, I heard that he won. I stopped my car, checked my e-mail, and found out he had sent me a message that he had received a phone call from Sweden.”
Karplus said she waited a couple of hours before calling her father in the US. ”Everyone was calling him in order to set up an interview, and he really enjoyed the experience,” she said. ”I’m extremely grateful of the fact that he is in a state of mind where he can really enjoy this at his age.”
Martin Karplus was born in Vienna in 1930, and, along with his family, fled to the United States in 1938 to escape the Nazi occupation of Austria. He attended Harvard University and received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology.
Karplus, Warshel and Levitt won the prestigious award “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced.