Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Ribosome Researchers

October 7, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

(From L) Photos of Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz of the US and Israel's Ada Yonath are displayed on a screen as they win the Nobel Chemistry Prize 2009 for their studies on the ribosome, on October 7, 2009 in Stockholm. (Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L) Photos of Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz of the US and Israel's Ada Yonath are displayed on a screen as they win the Nobel Chemistry Prize 2009 for their studies on the ribosome, on October 7, 2009 in Stockholm. (Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images)
A trio of biology researchers have won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their work on ribosomes.

They will equally share the prize money of 10 million Swedish kronors, or $1.4 million U.S. dollars, which will be awarded to them at a ceremony in Stockholm in early December.

The three researchers are Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a U.S. citizen currently residing in the U.K.; Thomas A. Steitz from the U.S.; and Ada E. Yonath from Israel.

The three scientists are credited with helping build a model of the structure of ribosomes, which are believed to be the "protein factory" of animal and human cells. Ribosomes translate genetic material such as DNA into proteins.

Professor Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, 57, works at Medical Research Council's (MRC) Molecular Biology Laboratories in Cambridge, UK. Originally from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Dr. Ramakrishnan got his Ph.D. at Ohio State University and is an American citizen.

Dr. Thomas Steitz, 69, who was born in Milwaukee and got his Ph.D. from Harvard University, now works at Yale University,

Dr. Ada Yonath, 70, was born in Jerusalem, Israel and received her Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science based in Rehovot, Israel. She is still working at the Weizmann Institute.