Israeli scientist Ada Yonath 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. Yonath is the 9th Israeli to receive a Nobel prize. 

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.

Yonath, who pioneered research of ribosome crystallography over a 25-year period, has revealed the modes of action of over 20 different antibiotics that target bacterial ribosomes, thereby identifying how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

“These models are now used by scientists in order to develop new antibiotics, directly assisting the saving of lives and decreasing humanity’s suffering,” the Nobel committee said. 

Yonath has won many prizes for her work including the Israel Prize in chemistry, the Wolf Prize in chemistry, and the L’Oreal and UNESCO Life’s Work Prize for women in science. She was also the first Israeli biologist to work with NASA, sending research material to outer space and contributing her expertise on 12 NASA missions.

In 2005, Israeli mathematician, Yisrael Robert Aumann received the Nobel Prize for economics for his work on conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis

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