Marinda Li Wu, president of the American Chemical Society, was equally enthusiastic about the award.
"I think it's fabulous," she said in a telephone interview. ''They're talking about the partnering of theoreticians with experimentalists, and how this has led to greater understanding."
That is "bringing better understanding to problems that couldn't be solved experimentally," she said. "We're starting as scientists to better understand things like how pharmaceutical drugs interact with proteins in our body to treat diseases. This is very, very exciting."
Earlier this week, three Americans won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries about how key substances are moved around within cells and the physics award went to British and Belgian scientists whose theories help explain how matter formed in the universe after the Big Bang.