New chemistry Nobelist was UChicago visiting prof, conducted research at Argonne

Ada Yonath, a former University of Chicago visiting professor and co-recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, collected data for her award-winning research at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

Yonath, a structural biologist at Israel's Weizmann Institute, will share the prize with Thomas Steitz of Yale University and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the Medical Research Center in Cambridge, England. All three of the new laureates have published papers related to their Nobel research based on data collected at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source. UChicago Argonne LLC manages Argonne for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Opened in 1996, the APS provides the brightest coherent X-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere. The APS enabled the laureates to study, in unprecedented detail, the workings of the ribosome, which works as a protein factory in all organisms, including humans.

Yonath was a visiting professor in the former Department of Biochemistry and Theoretical biology in 1977 and 1978. That department later evolved into two new ones: Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.


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