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Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath, Nobel Prize Recipient

Ada Yonath (1939 – ) was born in Jerusalem.  Her parents were Zionists that moved to Palestine before the establishment of the state.  Though her family was poor and struggled many times just to get by, they highly valued education and made sure that Yonath went to the best schools even if it meant she had to work as a tutor in exchange for tuition.  Ada Yonath always had an interest in books and science, admiring such noted scientists as Marie Curie. She spent her time in the army working with Medical Forces.  When her service was completed she entered Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1962.  In 1964 she earned her Master’s degree in Biochemistry and in 1968 earned her Ph.D. in X-ray Crystallography at the Weizmann Institute of Science.  Yonath is the current director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Bimolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science.  She is the recipient of many awards including the 2008 L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science.  Her most notable award was received in 2009 when she was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  Not only was she the first woman in 45 years to receive this prestigious award but more notably the first Israeli woman.


NobelPrize.Org: “Ada E. Yonath – Biographical”. 19 Nov 2010


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