Robert Benny Gerber

Born: 1944

Present status:

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of California at Irvine


Academic Training:

B.Sc. in Chemistry (with excellence), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1965

D.Phil. University of Oxford, England, 1968. Thesis supervisor: Prof. C.A. Coulson

Senior Mathematics Prize (for thesis research), University of Oxford, 1968

Postdoctoral Research Associate (with Prof. Martin Karplus) HarvardUniversity 1968-69


Academic Experience:

Senior Scientist, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel 1969-75

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Hebrew University, 1976

Professor of Chemistry, Hebrew University, from 1980

Finland Distinguished Professor, University of Helsinki 2011-2015

Saerree K. and Louis P. Fiedler Chair in Chemistry, Hebrew University, from 1989.  Emeritus since 2012.

Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, from 1990. Emeritus since May 2014.


Research Interests:

General: Theoretical and computational chemistry

1.Mechanisms and dynamics of processes in atmospheric chemistry: Chemical reactions in water clusters and at liquid water and ice surfaces. Thermal and photochemical reactions of organic molecules of atmospheric importance. Photochemical reactions in molecular aggregates and aerosols. Formation of molecular complexes and the growth of peptides in the atmosphere.

2. Vibrational spectroscopy of large molecules. Development of methods for vibrational spectroscopy of large molecular systems. Application of vibrational spectroscopy to development of new force fields for large molecules. Vibrational spectroscopy and the development of force fields for biological molecules. Vibrational states, energy levels and spectroscopy of amino acids, peptides, proteins, nucleic acids and saccharides.

3. Computational prediction of new molecules and solid materials: Prediction of new noble gas compounds, and of noble-gas compounds in molecular environments. Aggregates, crystals and other new materials made of noble-gas compounds. Predictions of new molecular crystals and their dynamical properties.

4. Molecular Dynamics using first-principles and semi-empirical electronic structure methods: New MD algorithms using directly high-level ab initio potentials. Semi-empirical potentials for dynamics simulations of chemical and photochemical reactions. Calculations of electronic properties along trajectories for molecular reactions.


Honors and Awards:

 Graham Senior Scholarship, PembrokeCollege, University of Oxford, elected 1966

 Senior Mathematical Prize for outstanding research Thesis, University of Oxford, 1968

 Fellow of the American Physical Society, elected 1989

 Saerree K. and Louis P. Fiedler Chair in Chemistry, HebrewUniversity, from 1989

 Michael Milken Prize for long-standing excellence in teaching HebrewUniversity, 1990

 Recipient of the Max-Planck Research Award (given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Federal Republic of Germany), 1991

 Recipient of the I.M. Kolthoff Prize in Chemistry (given by the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology) 1992

 Recipient of the Medal of the University of Helsinki and Rector’s invited lecturer, University of Helsinki, Finland, 1993

 Michael Milken Prize for long standing excellence in teaching, HebrewUniversity, 2003

 Israel Chemical Society Prize for Research Excellence 2004

 Medal of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CzechAcademy of Sciences, 2006

 Foreign Member of the FinnishAcademy of Science and Letters, elected 2007.

 Festschrift for R.B. Gerber, a Special Issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry, J. Phys. Chem. A, Vol. 113, Issue 26 (2009). Guest  Editors: A.B. McCoy, A.I. Krylov, V. Buch.

Finland Distinguished Professor, University of Helsinki,  2011-2015.

Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) – elected 2013.

ACS Symposium in honor of R.B. Gerber: “A Little Insight Goes a Long Way: A Transformative Role of Theory in Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics”. ACS National Meeting, Dallas, Texas, March 16-20, 2014.

Batsheva de Rothschild Seminar in honor of R.B. Gerber, on: Current Challenges in Chemical Dynamics: From Exotic Novel Species to Macromolecules, Neve Ilan, Israel, Oct 12-15, 2015.

Member of the European Union Academy of Sciences (EUAS), elected 2016.

Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected 2016.


Editorial Boards:

Membership of Advisory Editorial Boards:

Member, Editorial Board, Isr. J. Chem., 1980-85

Member, Editorial Board of Molecular Physics (Europhysics Journal based in England), 1980-88

Member, Editorial Board of Laser Chemistry (International Journal based in France),   from 1985-95

Member, Editorial Board of Advances in Physical Chemistry, 1995-1998

Member of Editorial Board of Computational Materials Science (an International Journal published by Elsevier) 1992-2007

Associate Editor “Advanced Series in Physical Chemisry”, Review Series World Scientific Press, 1992-96

Member of the Editorial Board, Berichte der Bunsengesellschaft f. Physikalische Chemie (an International Journal based in Germany) 1994-98

Member of the Editorial Board, Phys. Chem. Comm. (an electronic journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K.) 2000-2005

Member of the Editorial Board, The Journal of Chemical Physics, 2001-2004

Member of the Editorial Board, Chemical Physics (an International Journal published by Elsevier) 1996 - 2015

Advisory Editorial Board Member, Chemical Physics Letters, 2010-2012, 2013-2015

Editorial Board – Journal of Modern Physics, 2012-2015

Member of the Editorial Board, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP), (International journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K.), 2012-2014; 2015-17