Trained in experimental, theoretical and computational biology, Steve Harvey was a pioneer in the development and application of computer-based approaches to the investigation of structure-function relationships in biological macromolecules, especially nucleic acids, lipoproteins, the ribosome, and viruses. Among his major accomplishments, he carried out the first molecular mechanics calculations and the first molecular dynamics simulations on an RNA molecule (with J. Andrew McCammon), he designed and patented the first catalytic DNA molecule (with Robert Cedergren), and he was co-developer of the standard model for high-density lipoprotein particles (with Jere Segrest); that design serves as the basis for protein-lipid nanodisks.
He and McCammon co-authored “Dynamics of Proteins and Nucleic Acids”, the first monograph in the field; the book has been in print since 1987. He was also co-editor, with Robert D. Wells, of the book “Unusual DNA Structures.” He has published over 170 scientific papers.
Harvey has degrees in physics (AB, University of California, Berkeley, 1963; PhD, Dartmouth College, 1971), and postdoctoral training in molecular biophysics with Herbert C. Cheung at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1971-1973). He served many years on the faculty at UAB (1973-2002), including a term as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry (1990-1993). He moved to Georgia Tech in 2003, where he was the Nelson and Bennie Abell Professor of Biology and the Georgia Research Association Eminent Scholar in Computational Structural Biology. Harvey is now professor emeritus at Georgia Tech, and, since 2015, an adjunct professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania.
He is past president of the Biophysical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the Becton-Dickenson Lecturer at Duke University (1993), a Fogarty International Fellow at CNRS/IBPC (Paris, France, 2000), the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Visiting Fellow at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (Bures-sur-Yvette, France, 2003), and a Fellow and Writer-in-Residence at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences (Rabun Gap, Georgia, 2008; 2010; 2014).