Israeli scientist Prof. Ada Yonath has won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry for her groundbreaking work in the field of ribosomes. When Israeli scientist Professor Ada Yonath was growing up, her role model was the Polish-French scientist Marie Curie, the pioneer in the field of radioactivity. During her lifetime Marie Curie was awarded two Nobel prizes in different scientific fields. Now, fittingly, Yonath has been awarded a Nobel prize of her own. Yonath, who is 70, was awarded this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry for her groundbreaking work in understanding how cells build proteins. She is only the fourth woman to win the Nobel chemistry prize, and the first since 1964, when British woman Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin received the prize.
The professor, who is head researcher in the field of structural biology and biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, shares her prize with UK scientist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and American Thomas A. Steitz. The decision was announced today by the Nobel committee in Stockholm.
Yonath is widely considered the pioneer of ribosome crystallography. Her research, carried out over a 25-year period, has revealed the modes of action of over 20 different antibiotics that target bacterial ribosomes. Through this work she has been able to identify how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, a problem of great concern worldwide as the growth of antibiotic resistant super bugs like MRSA, continues unabated.
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