Ada E. Yonath


Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2009

Ada E. Yonath is a crystallographer best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome. She is the current Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel. In 2009, she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz, for her studies on the structure and function of the ribosome, becoming the first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize out of ten Israeli Nobel laureates, the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel prize in the sciences, and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In 2008, she became the first Israeli woman to win the l'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science for her vital work identifying how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. She accepted postdoctoral positions at the Carnegie Mellon University (1969) and MIT (1970). She headed a Max-Planck Institute Research Unit at DESY in Hamburg, Germany (1986–2004) in parallel to her research activities at the Weizmann Institute. She is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; the European Academy of Sciences and Art and the European Molecular Biology Organization.