Ada Yonath is an Israeli biochemist and structural biologist, she pioneered the structural elucidation of ribosomes. She relied on X-ray structural analysis of ribosomes as her method by creating a ribosome crystal in 1980 with great difficulty.
It was not until 20 years later that she managed to generate a complete, high-resolution spatial representation of both subunits of the ribosome. Yonath was thus able to show in detail how genetic information is decoded and how antibiotics bind to and block the ribosomes of bacteria.
Yonath’s work has generated enormous resonance in global research and has become the starting point for the development of new antibiotics. She became director of the Kimmelmann Center and continues to research and teach at the Weizman Institute of Science, Israel, to date (2021). In 2009, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work in ribosome research, together with Thomas Seitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan.