Nobel Laureate public lecture at UNSW

Ada Yonath
Thursday, 4 February, 2010

Professor Ada Yonath, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, will give a free public lecture at UNSW.

The lecture, titled "Polar Bears, the Genetic Code and Tiny Antibiotics that Paralyse the Giant Ribosome", will take place on 18 February (details below).

With Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz, Professor Yonath mapped the detailed structure of ribosomes, which translate the genetic code of DNA into the tens of thousands of proteins that build and control the chemistry of living things.

Her research has yielded fundamental new insights into the way proteins are made and has helped pave the way for understanding how antibiotics work against bacterial diseases and how antibiotic resistance develops.

She is the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professor of Structural Biology and director of The Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in Israel.

Born in Jerusalem, Professor Yonath gained her Ph.D. from WIS and completed her postdoctoral studies at MIT, USA.

She uses X-ray crystallography supported by molecular biology, mutagenesis and other biophysical methods. She established in the '70s Israel's first laboratory for protein crystallography.

In 1986-2004 she also headed the Max-Planck Research Unit in Hamburg, Germany.

Her recent awards include the Paul Ehrlich-Ludwig Medal, Germany (2007); the Wolf Prize (2007); the UNESCO Award for Women in Science Prize, representing Europe (2008); the Palade Gold Medal (2008); the Albert Einstein World Award of Science (2008); the Erice Prize for Peace, Rome, the Vatican (2009).

WHEN: 11.30 am, Thursday 18 February 2010
WHERE:  Leighton Hall, Scientia Building, UNSW
RSVP: Seating strictly limited RSVP at: or 02 9385 7919

Ada Yonath is joint winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.