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Review
. 2011 Jun;84(2):125-9.

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Thomas A. Steitz and the Structure of the Ribosome

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Free PMC article
Review

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Thomas A. Steitz and the Structure of the Ribosome

Peter Zhao. Yale J Biol Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Over the past 200 years, there have been countless groundbreaking discoveries in biology and medicine at Yale University. However, one particularly noteworthy discovery with profoundly important and broad consequences happened here in just the past two decades. In 2009, Thomas Steitz, the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "studies of the structure and function of the ribosome," along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Ada E. Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science. This article covers the historical context of Steitz's important discovery, the techniques his laboratory used to study the ribosome, and the impact that this research has had, and will have, on the future of biological and medical research.

Keywords: Nobel Prize; X-ray crystallography; rational drug design; ribosome.

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