Nobel laureate: 'The world took me as a joke for 14 years'

An exclusive video interview with Weizmann Institute's Ada Yonath, the first Israeli woman to receive prestigious prize for chemistry.

Ada Yonath 311 (photo credit: Leadel.NET)
Ada Yonath 311
(photo credit: Leadel.NET)
Born in 1939 in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem, books were Ada Yonath's refuge. A love of learning and achievement propelled a young Yonath to get her PhD in 1968 from the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she currently works as senior staff.
In 2009, Dr. Yonath became the first Israeli woman to receive a Nobel Prize when she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with two other scientists, for their path- breaking contribution to understanding the nature of the ribosome.
"I was born in Jerusalem with a religious background and a rabbi as a father…it was rather poor, but what we did have, we did have books," Yonath says in this exclusive video.
Drawn to science out of her own curiosity, Ada Yonath's work deals with the extremely minute particles of life, ribosomes. Watch as Ada speaks humbly about her achievements and points out personal struggles she encountered along her path.
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"The world was not supportive. They look at me as a joke for 13 to 14 years until I could prove feasibility, then I had competitors. Those that laughed at me became my competitors," she says.
After overcoming many odds, Dr. Yonath's discoveries continue to influence the latest research into antibiotics in the finest biotech firms in the world.