Ada E. Yonath

Yonath, Ada E., 1939–, Israeli crystallographer, Ph.D. Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovat, Israel, 1968. Yonath has been a researcher and professor at the Weizmann Institute since 1970. She was a co-recipient with Thomas Steitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for their studies of the structure and function of the ribosome, which translates information encoded in DNA into protein sequences (see cell, in biology; nucleic acid). All three used X-ray crystallography to map the position of each of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome, and they developed three-dimensional models that show how various antibiotics bind to the ribosome and interfere with its functioning in bacteria. Their work made fundamental contributions to the scientific understanding of life and to the development of antibiotics.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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