SCHUSTER, PETER / Chemistry / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research




Full professor of Theoretical Chemistry, Institute for Theoretical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Research interests

- Theory of the Hydrogen bond and intermolecular forces.
- Kinetics of proton transfer reactions in aqueous solutions.
- Theory of molecular evolution and in vitro-studies on RNA-replication and selection.
- Nonlinear dynamics and theory of complex evolvable systems.
- Structures and properties of biopolymers, RNA and proteins.
- Evolutionary biotechnology.

His main fields of research are dynamical systems theory applied to chemical kinetics, biomolecular structures, and the theory of molecular evolution. In particular, he initiated studies of RNA sequence-structure mappings by simultaneous investigations based on random graph theory, computer simulation, and empirical data. One of his current topics is the question of continuity in evolutionary optimization.

Prizes and awards


Theodor Körner Förderungspreis 1971,
Jubiläumspreis of the “Chemisch-Physikalische Gesellschaft” 1971,
Erwin Schrödinger Award of the Austrian Academy of Sciences 1983,
Dr.Assen Zlatarov Award of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 1989,
Österreichisches Ehrenzeichen fr Wissenschaft und Kunst 1993,
Philip-Morris-Forschungspreis 1995,
Josef-Loschmidt-Medal of the “Gesellschaft Österreichischer Chemiker”
Preis der Stadt Wien für Natur- und Technische Wissenschaften 1997,
Kardinal-Innitzer Würdigungspreis für Naturwissenschaften 1997,
Wilhelm-Exner-Medal of the “ Österreichischer Gewerbeverein” 1999.

Scientific Memberships:

Elected Member of the “Gesellschaft f¨ur Physikalische Biologie der
B.R.D.”, since March 28, 1980,
Corresponding Member of the Academie Européenne des Sciences, des
Arts et des Lettres, since March 31, 1983,
Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
May 15, 1984 – May 12, 1992,
Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since May 12, 1992,
Member of the “Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina”,
since June 22, 1993, Senator and Adjunct for Austria,
since 8.12.1998, Member of the “Präsidium”, since 5.4.2001,
Member of the “Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig”,
March 11, 1994 – December 31, 1995,
Corresponding Member of the “Sächsische Akademie der
Wissenschaften zu Leipzig”, since January 1, 1996,
Extraordinary Member of the “Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der
Wissenschaften”, since Feb. 17, 1995,
Corresponding Member of the “Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der
Wissenschaften”, since March 3, 1999.


The Hydrogen Bond - Recent Developments in Theory and Experiment. Vol.I, II and III.
Eds. P.Schuster, G.Zundel, C.Sandorfy. North-Holland, Amsterdam 1976.

The Hypercycle - A Principle of Natural Self-Organization.
M.Eigen, P.Schuster. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1979.

Stochastic Phenomena and Chaotic Behaviour in Complex Systems.
Ed. P.Schuster. Vol.21 of Springer Series in Synergetics, Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1984.

The Molecular Quasi-Species.
M.Eigen, J.McCaskill, P.Schuster. Advances in Chemical Physics Vol.75, pp. 149-263. John Wiley, New York 1989.

Statistics of RNA Secondary Structures.
W.Fontana, D.A.M.Konings, P.F.Stadler, P.Schuster. Biopolymers 33, 1389-1404, 1993.

From Sequences to Shapes and Back: A Case Study in RNA Secondary Structures.
P.Schuster, W.Fontana, P.F.Stadler, I.L.Hofacker. Proc.Roy.Soc.Lond.B 255, 279-284, 1994.

How to Search for RNA Structures. Theoretical Concepts in Evolutionary Biotechnology.
P.Schuster. J. of Biotechnology 41, 239-258, 1995.

Generic Properties of Combinatory Maps: Neutral Networks of RNA Secondary Structures.
C.Reidys, P.F.Stadler, P.Schuster. Bull.Math.Biol. 59, 339-397, 1997.

Continuity in Evolution. On the Nature of Transitions.
W.Fontana, P.Schuster. Science 280, 1451-1455, 1998.

Complete Suboptimal Folding of RNA and the Stability of Secondary Structures.
S. Wuchty, W. Fontana, I.L. Hofacker, P. Schuster. Biopolymers 49, 145-165, 1999.

RNA Folding at Elementary Step Resolution.
C. Flamm, W.Fontana, I.L. Hofacker, P.Schuster. RNA 6, 325-338, 2000.

Bifurcation Dynamics of Three-Dimensional Systems.
P.E.Phillipson, P.Schuster. Int.J.Bifurcation and Chaos. 10, 1787-1804, 2000.

Replication and Mutation on Neutral Networks.
Christian Reidys, Christian Forst, P.Schuster. Bull.Math.Biol. 63, 57-94, 2001.

Dynamics of Relaxation oscillations.
P.E.Phillipson, P.Schuster. Int.J.Bifurcation and Chaos. 11, 1471-1482, 2001.

Bistability of Harmonically Forced Relaxation Oscillations.
P.E.Phillipson, P.Schuster. Int.J.Bifurcation and Chaos. 12, 1295-1307, 2002.

Evolutionary Dynamics. Exploring the Interplay of Accident, Selection, Neutrality, and Function
J.P.Crutchfield and P.Schuster., Eds. Oxford University Press, 2003.

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