October 7th, 2009

lolcat: science

Chemistry Nobel Prize: Ada Yonath

Professor Ada Yonath will share this year's chemistry Nobel Prize for helping to untangle the structure of ribosomes.

I saw Professor Yonath speak in 2002, the year I got my PhD, at the Maria Goeppert-Mayer symposium held annually at the University of California, San Diego. (Two years before that, I won a poster prize at the symposium. A year later, Sally Ride gave one of the symposium talks. And in 2003, I chaired one of the sessions as a postdoc.) Although I can't recall much of the content of her talk - mostly because biochemistry is not my remit - I do remember being quite inspired by her vibrant presence and clear, precise delivery.

She is only the fourth woman ever to win a chemistry Nobel. My own achievements are much humbler but although I no longer work as one, I'm proud to have trained as a chemist myself today.