Friday, October 9, 2009

Thomas A. Steitz, 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry winner, discusses his work.

2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry winner Thomas A. Steitz, Sterling professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Chemistry at Yale.

Steitz is one of three winners for his work describing the structure and function of the ribosome, the protein making factory key to the function of all life.

Steitz, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, shares the $1.4 million award with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom and Ada E. Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

All three used a technology 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. While the work began as a quest to answer basic questions about the makeup of ribosomes, knowledge of its structure has created targets for a new generation of antibiotics.

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