Ada E. Yonath
Submitted by comrax on Wed, 30/01/2013 - 13:17
Prof. Ada E. Yonath
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 2009
Prof. Ada Yonath was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for having described the structure of the ribosome, the body which produces protein in the cell. She received the prize along with her scientific colleagues, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz.
Prof. Yonath was born in 1939 in Jerusalem. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry (1962) and master’s degree in biochemistry (1964) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After returning from postdoctoral work in the US In 1970, she joined the academic staff of the Weizmann Institute, where she is a member of the Department of Structural Biology in the Faculty of Chemistry.
For most of her scientific career, Prof.Yonath's research has dealt with the structure of the ribosome, which is composed of protein and nucleic acids, that function to convert the genetic code into proteins, ascertains that the proteins were produced correctly, and defends them. The proteins carry out most of the biological processes in humans, animals, bacteria and plants, and their functions and proper operation are dependent on their spatial structure. Understanding of the way in which the ribosome creates the proteins is likely to shed light on the connection between various defects which are created in proteins and the development of various diseases. The understanding of the spatial structure of the ribosome and the principles of its functioning was made possible thanks to the innovative research approaches developed by Prof. Yonath and is likely, among other things, to assist in improving the efficiency of antibiotic drugs.