Ada Yonath focuses on genetic code translation by ribosomes, on antibiotics paralyzing this process, on antibiotic resistance, on designing novel antibiotics and on origin of life. She graduated from Hebrew University, earned her PhD from Weizmann Institute (WIS) and completed postdoctoral studies at CMU and MIT, USA. In 1971 she established the first biological-crystallography laboratory in Israel, which was the only lab of this kind in the country for almost a decade. Since then, she has been a faculty member and the Director of Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structures at WIS. In 1978 she spent a Sabbatical in the Chicago University, and during 1980-2004 she headed the Max-Planck-Research-Unit for Ribosome Structure in Hamburg in parallel to her WIS activities.
Among others, she is a member of US-National-Academy-of-Sciences; Israel Academy of Sciences-and-Humanities; German Academy for Sciences (Leopoldina); European Molecular Biology Organization; Pontifical (Vatican) Academy of Sciences. She holds honorary doctorates from over 20 universities worldwide, in Israel, USA, Latin America, Europe and the Far East. Her awards include the Israel Prize; Linus Pauling Gold Medal; Albert Einstein World Award for Excellence; UNESCO-L'Oréal Award; Wolf Prize; Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize; Erice Peace Prize; Indian Prime-minister medal and the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.