Ada Yonath, an Israeli crystallographer best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome and a 2009 Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry, will deliver a seminar titled “The Fruits of Curiosity: The Ribosome and Its Tiny Enemies” at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, May 2, in the Interdisciplinary Science Building Room 110 at The University of Montana.
The lecture, co-sponsored by the UM chemistry department, is part of UM’s Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics Seminar Series and also is offered as part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative programming. The event is free and open to the public, and a discussion will follow.
Yonath was the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and she also is the first woman in the Middle East to win the prize in the sciences.
She led teams from the Weizmann Institute in Israel and the Max Planck Institute in Germany, which solved the complete spatial structure of both subunits of a bacterial ribosome. This information gave scientists groundbreaking insight into how the genetic code is translated into proteins on the ribosomes.
The journal Science cites this achievement among the top 10 most important scientific developments of 2009. Her achievements have fueled intensive international research in the field, and her findings are vital in the development of advanced antibiotics.
Yonath currently is an institutional professor for the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.