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Fellows Directory

Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath

Professor Ada Yonath ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2020


Ada Yonath focuses on genetic code translation by ribosomes, on antibiotics paralyzing this process, on designing novel eco-friendly antibiotics for fighting resistance, on ribosomopathies and on origin of life. She graduated from Hebrew University, earned PhD from Weizmann Institute (WIS) and postdoced at CMU and MIT, USA. In 1971 she established the first bio-crystallography-laboratory in Israel, which was the only one in the country for almost a decade. Since 1989 she is the Director of Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structures. In 1978-9 she spent a Sabbatical in Chicago University, and during 1980-2004, she headed the Max-Planck-Research-Unit for Ribosome Structure in DESY, Hamburg, in parallel to her WIS activities.

Among others, she is a member of Israel, US, German, Rome, Pontifical Academies of Sciences. She holds honorary doctorates from over 20 universities worldwide, in Israel, USA, Latin America, Europe, UK and Far East. Her many awards include the Israel Prize, Linus Pauling Gold Medal, Albert Einstein World Award, Wolf Prize, L’Oréal-Unesco Award, Paul Ehrlich Medal, Erice Peace Prize and the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Professional positions

Kimmel Professor of structural biology, Weizmann Institute of Science

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Genetics (excluding population genetics), Developmental biology, General microbiology (incl bacteriology and virology)
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Evolution
  • Health and human sciences
    • Medical microbiology
  • Other
    • History of science
  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, biological
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology, Molecular microbiology


  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    Jointly with Venki Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.

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