14 Facts About Ada Yonath


Ada E Yonath is a Nobel laureate crystallographer best known for her pioneering work on the structure of ribosomes.


Ada Yonath is the current director of the Helen and Milton A Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science.


In 2009, Yonath 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.


Ada Yonath's father was a rabbi and came from a rabbinical family.


Ada Yonath returned to Jerusalem for college, graduating from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1962, and a master's degree in biochemistry in 1964.


Ada Yonath has one daughter, Hagit Yonath, a doctor at Sheba Medical Center, and a granddaughter, Noa.


Ada Yonath is the cousin of anti-occupation activist Ruchama Marton.

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Ada Yonath accepted postdoctoral positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT.


Ada Yonath headed a Max-Planck Institute Research Unit at DESY in Hamburg, Germany in parallel to her research activities at the Weizmann Institute.


Ada Yonath focuses on the mechanisms underlying protein biosynthesis, by ribosomal crystallography, a research line she pioneered over twenty years ago despite considerable skepticism of the international scientific community.


For enabling ribosomal crystallography Ada Yonath introduced a novel technique, cryo bio-crystallography, which became routine in structural biology and allowed intricate projects otherwise considered formidable.


At the Weizmann Institute, Yonath is the incumbent of the Martin S and Helen Kimmel Professorial Chair.


Ada Yonath 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.


On Saturday, 18 October 2014, Professor Ada Yonath was named an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Pope Francis.