Ada Yonath
  • 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry


Israeli crystallographer and Professor in Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science.
In 2009, she was rewarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz for her studies on the structure and function of the ribosome. Making her the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry since 1965.

Education and Work Experience

1968, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science
1969-1970, Postdoctoral research at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT
1988-Present, Professor of Structural Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science

Honors and Awards

2003, Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences
2005, Foreign Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2006, Wolf Prize in Chemistry
2009, Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Major Academic Achievements

Protein plays a key role in life activities. Ribosomes are molecular machines for protein synthesis in organisms. Professor Yonath focused on the X ray crystallography of ribosomes, determined the high-resolution three-dimensional structure of the ribosome, confirmed the channel of the new protein synthesis, and found the universal symmetric region to guide the polypeptides polymerization process, and revealed the extension capture (elongation arrest) in the process of the ribosome synthesis protein. The dynamic process of gating, intracellular regulation, and transportation of protein nascent chains elucidates the mechanism of protein synthesis. In order to carry out the crystallographic study of ribosomes, Professor Yonath pioneered the establishment of cryogenic crystallography, which is now widely used in structural biology for some complex research projects.