Nobel Prize Chemistry 2009 Awarded to 3 Scientists

Cheryl Phillips's picture

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was declared on Wednesday in Stockholm to three scientists for the study of the structure and function of the ribosome. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A Steitz and Ada E Yonath were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009 for their collaborative work on ribosomes, which are crucial to life and are also a major target for new antibiotics.

Modern research for the development of antibiotic are based on the work of the three Nobel Prize in Chemistry winners. All three scientists used a method called X-ray crystallography to map the position for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome. Based upon the information in DNA, ribosomes make proteins that build and control life at the chemical level.

Two United States citizens and one Israli citizen make up the esteemed Nobel Prize in Chemistry winners awarded today. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a United States citizen, graduated with his Ph.D. in Physics in 1976 from Ohio University in the United States. He is a Senior Scientist and Group Leader at Structural Studies Division, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

Another United States citizen, Thomas A. Steitz, received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in 1966 from Harvard University, MA, USA. He is currently a Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, both at Yale University, Connecticut.

Israeli citizen, Ada E. Yonath, was born in Jerusalem, Israel and earned her Ph.D. in X-ray Crystallography in 1968 from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. She is the first Israeli woman to win a Nobel prize. Yonath is the Professor of Structural Biology and Director of Helen & Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure & Assembly, both at Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Three amazing scientists made this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009 a very notable event. Their work will help produce antibiotics that are not resistant to bacteria as it has become resistant to many of the drugs now on the market. This year’s three Nobel Prize winners have all produced structures that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome.

Ramakrishnan, Steitz and Yonath are all truly deserving of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009. The discoveries that the three scientists have made, are important both for the understanding of how life’s core processes function and in order to save lives.

Each of the three winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009 will receive a gold medal and a diploma. The prize-money of $1.41 million will be equally distributed among the winners at a ceremony to be held on December 10, the death anniversary of its founder Alfred Nobel.

Cheryl Phillips
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sources: Nobelprize.org

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