February 2001

From Weizmann Institute

Weizmann Institute researcher named to Israel Academy Of Sciences And Humanities

Weizmann Institute of Science Prof. Ada Yonath of the Structural Biology Department, has been inducted into the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Israel’s leading non-governmental science and technology institution. The academy advises the government on activities of national importance related to scientific research and planning. Prof. Yonath is renowned for her discoveries about the structure of the ribosome, known as the “cell’s genetic factory,” which translates the genetic code to create proteins, essential to most life functions.

Deciphering the structure of the ribosome may lead to the development of new medicines that combat drug-resistant bacteria and illnesses. Over the past 25 years, Prof. Yonath, holder of the Martin S. Kimmel Professorial Chair and director of the Kimmelman Center for Macromolecular Structure and Assembly and the Mazer Center for Structural Biology, has made pioneering discoveries in understanding the structure of ribosomes using X-ray crystallography. Researchers at Yale, Cambridge and MIT are currently following Prof. Yonath’s lead in attempting to discover the structure of subunits of the ribosome.

Israel Academy President Prof. Jacob Ziv said, “If there is a short list for future Nobel Prizes, I am sure Prof. Yonath is on it.” She joins Weizmann colleague Prof. Ruth Arnon as one of four women members of the Academy and is one of twenty Institute scientists presently in the prestigious advisory group.

The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, established in 1960, has 70 members, half from the natural sciences and half from the humanities. Prof. Yonath is one of six inductees this year, honored at a recent ceremony in the presence of Israeli President Moshe Katsav, where she spoke on “Translating the Genetic Code.”The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s foremost centers of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and engineers pursue basic research in the quest for knowledge and to enhance the quality of human life. New ways of fighting disease and hunger, protecting the environment, and harnessing alternative sources of energy are high priorities at Weizmann.












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