Physicist Onuchic named fellow of Biophysical Society


Physicist José Onuchic has been named a 2012 fellow of the Biophysical Society, an honor that recognizes excellence in science and contributions to the expansion of the field of biophysics.


Onuchic, Rice’s Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Chair of Physics and professor of physics and astronomy, was chosen for developing the widely recognized and highly regarded theory of energy landscapes and funnels that directs protein folding.

Onuchic explores theoretical and computational methods for molecular biophysics, chemical reactions in condensed matter and gene networks. His research group introduced the concept of protein-folding funnels to show the types of amino acid sequences that can fold into a unique protein structure.

He is co-director of the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics that is located at Rice and the University of California, San Diego. The center is funded by the National Science Foundation Physics Frontiers Centers program.

The Biophysical Society will honor Onuchic and its other new fellows at the organization’s annual meeting — the world’s largest meeting of biophysicists — in February in San Diego. More than 9,000 scientists in academia, industry and government are members of the society.

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