Professor Sason Shaik, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, was awarded the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Gold Medal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society) at the 4th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Prague, Czech Republic. The prize was shared with Professor Martin Quack, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Here, Professor Shaik talks about the motivation behind his research and how that has led him into diverse areas such as new theoretical models for bonding and enzymatic activation.
Sason Shaik studied chemistry at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv District, Israel. He was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship to study at the University of Washington, USA, where he gained his Ph.D. in 1979. After a year as a post-doctoral researcher with Roald Hoffmann at Cornell University, USA, he accepted the position of Lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and became Professor in 1988. In 1992 he moved to The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, where he is Professor and the Director of the Lise Meitner-Minerva Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry. Shaik is also a member of the Editorial Board for several journals, including the Journal of Computational Chemistry and the Israel Journal of Chemistry.
His fields of interest are chemical reactivity and bonding, where he has developed a general valence bond model for reactivity and derived new concepts for chemical bonding. His current interests are in bond activation by metal oxides and enzymes like cytochrome P450, where he has developed the concepts of two-state-reactivity and chameleon enzymes.
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