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Ada Yonath

Prof. Ada Yonath, Nobel Laureate For Chemistry, to Speak at Medicinale 2020

We are proud to announce one of our headline speakers for XPOMET© 2020. Prof. Ada Yonath is a crystallographer, awarded the Nobel Laureate for her groundbreaking work on the structure of the Ribosome. She is also the first Israeli woman to have won a Nobel Prize out of 10 Laureates and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 45 years. 

Born in Jerusalem, she gained her bachelor’s in Chemistry and Master’s degree in biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1962. Her PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science focused on X-ray Crystallographic studies on the structure of collagen. In the late 60s and early 70s she took up postdoctoral positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT. As a postdoc at MIT she worked with Nobel Prize winner Willian N. Lipscomb, where she was inspired to work on very large structures. 

The focus of her work is on protein biosynthesis, specifically on Ribosomes, which is a complex molecule made of ribosomal RNA molecules and proteins that form a factory for protein synthesis in cells. Ribosomes translate RNA into protein. The differ in structures from lower to higher organisms. Prof. Yonath’s work elucidated complete structures of two ribosomal subunits and also discovering ribosome as the location of an enzyme catalysed reaction. Additionally, her work has contributed to an understanding the mechanism of actions of various antibiotics targeted towards ribosomes and subsequently the drug resistance mechanisms. Her work is also extremely significant especially in clinical outcomes focusing on drug resistance.

Who else is at the XPOMET© Medicinale? Read all about it now!

Prof. Ada Yonath also set up the first protein crystallography lab in Israel, was a group leader at the Max Planck Insitute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and headed a Max-Planck Research Unit at DESY in Hamburg. In 2009, her work was recognised for a Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Thomas A. Steitz and Venki Ramakrishnan. You can read more about it here. We are very excited to have her join us at XPOMET©! Book your tickets to see the event now!