DESY congratulates Ada Yonath, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (October 2009)

A. Yonathl

Ada E. Yonath with dishes used for crystallization experiments.
(Credits: Micheline Pelletier/Corbis)

Israel’s scientist Prof. Ada E. Yonath was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan und Thomas A. Steitz from the United States, for her studies of the structure and function of the ribosome, a part of the cell that synthesizes protein and translates genetic code in the production of protein.

Prof. Ada E. Yonath, born 1939 in Jerusalem, was head of the Max Planck Ribosome Structure Working Group at DESY in Hamburg from 1986 to 2004. During this time, she carried out fundamental research using X-ray crystallography with synchrotron radiation to identify the structure of ribosomes, using the DESY accelerator DORIS. Now that the structure of the ribosome is known, it is possible to find new approaches for the development of new medication, e.g. antibiotics.

Professor Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Directorate, congratulates the winner of the Nobel Prize: “With the aim to decode the structure of this important molecule, Ada Yonath has always sought the best X-ray sources of the world. Her determination in this field of research will be of great benefit for mankind. DESY is proud of having facilitated Ada Yonath’s top level research significantly with its X-ray sources.”

(from: DESY press release)