Born in South Africa in 1947, Michael Levitt visited London in 1963 and stayed for a BSc. After a year with Shneior Lifson and his PhD student Arieh Warshel at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, Levitt joined the Cambridge Laboratory of Molecular in 1968.
Levitt returned to Israel in 1972 collaborating with Warshel on multi-scale modeling: coarse-grained models that allowed folding simulation and hybrid models combined classical and quantum mechanics. In 1974, Levitt returned to LMB for three years, spent two years with Francis Crick at Salk and seven years at Weizmann, before moving to Structural Biology at Stanford from 1987.
His diverse interests include RNA & DNA modeling, protein folding, protein classification and geometry, x-ray refinement, antibody modeling, side-chain geometry, normal modes, solution molecular dynamics, aromatic hydrogen bonds and mass spectrometry.
Levitt ambitions are to work single-mindedly as he did in the mid-1970’s on hard problems and help today’s young scientists gain the recognition and independence his generation enjoyed.