Ada Yonath earns a Ph.D. in X-Ray crystallography at the Weizmann Institute of Science. During these years, she tries to reveal the high resolution structure of collagen.
Ada Yonath receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome." She is the first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize, the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences, and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Her findings have aided the development of more efficient antibacterial drugs.
Yonath works as Visiting Professor within the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. She is a group leader flanked by Heinz-Günter Wittmann. Working at both the Weizmann Institute in Israel and the Max Planck Institute, at the beginning of the 80s Yonath and her colleagues create the first ribosome micro crystals. Observing this first crystal, they visualize a tunnel spanning the large ribosomal subunit and assume that this passage could be the nascent protein exit tunnel.
A year after the husband's death, Ada Yonath's mother moves with the family to Tel Aviv, in order to be closer to her sisters. There, Yonath completes her high school education at Tichon Hadash High School. The price of the tuition is too high for Ada's mother. To cover the costs Ada gives math lessons to students.
Ada Yonath (née Lifshitz) is born in the Geula quarter of Jerusalem. Her parents, Hillel and Esther Lifshitz, are Zionist Jews immigrated to Palestine from Poland in 1933. Once settled in Jerusalem, they begin to run a grocery.
Despite their poverty, the parents of Ada Yonath manage to send her to school in the upscale Beit HaKerem neighbourhood assuring her a good education. When Ada Yonath is only 11, her father dies and she begins therefore helping her mother in a wide variety of tasks: cleaning, babysitting and providing private tuition to younger children.
Yonath works at Weizmann Institute as Professor of the Department of Structural Biology and many other eminent positions. By the mid-1990s, Yonath and her colleagues show that crystallography of ribosomes is feasible. In 2000 and 2001 she issues the first complete 3D structures of both subunits of the bacterial ribosome.
Ada Yonath completes her second postdoctoral year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studing the structure of a globur protein staphylococcus nuclease.
Ada Yonath spends her summer as Visiting Professor at the Universidad Austral de Chile.
After her compulsory army service in the "top secret office" of the Medical Forces, where she is exposed to clinical and medical issues, Ada Yonath enrols at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she completes her undergraduate in chemistry.
Ada Yonath covers the position of Visiting Scientist in Biophysics at the University of Chicago, Illinois.
Ada Yonath receives her M. Sc. in biochemistry and biophysics.
Ada Yonath is the Head of the Max-Planck Research Unit of Hamburg.
Yonath returns to the Weizmann Institute and establishes the first biological crystallography laboratory in Israel. She focuses on the process of protein biosynthesis aiming to determine the 3D structure of the ribosome – the cells' factory for translating the instructions written in the genetic code into proteins – and thus reveal the mechanics guiding the process. Her quest will take over 2 decades, hard years in which she will face huge scepticism from the international scientific community.
Yonath becomes Senior Scientist ('74-'83) and Associate Professor ('84-'88) within the Department of Structural Chemistry of the Weizmann Institute. She develops many techniques that are today widely used in structural biology. One is cryo-bio-crystallography, an indispensable method for the crystallization and subsequent solution of the ribosomal architecture. Introducing cryo-bio-crystallography and discovering that crystals can acquire almost eternal life is a very valuable discovery.
Ada Yonath continues to work on fibrous proteins (muscle) in her first postdoctoral year at the Mellon Institute in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Ada Yonath covers the position of Visiting Scientist at the Dental School of the University of Alabama.