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Lifetime Achievement Award for Ada Yonat

An important win for an Israeli scientist on International Science Day: Prof. Ada Yonat won the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in Science, a partner of the L'Oréal and UNESCO Science Foundation, which is awarded annually to five leading female researchers in the world - one from each continent. The prize: 100 thousand dollars and wide international recognition

Prof. Ada Yonat, a scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, is the first Israeli to win the Lifetime Achievement Award "For Women in Science" from the L'Oréal Global Group and the UN's UNESCO Organization (L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Awards 2008). The prestigious prize is awarded every year to five leading researchers - one from each continent. Prof. Yonat is the recipient of the prize for the European region at the 10th ceremony, which will be held in March 2008 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The prizes - worth $100,000 each - will be presented to the winners by Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO and Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, President of L'Oréal Worldwide.

The L'Oréal-UNESCO project "For Women in Science" was founded in 1998. The international jury of the awards, chaired by Professor Günter Blubel, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1999, consists of 18 prominent members of the scientific community. Prof. Yonat was chosen by the jury for her research, in which she deciphered the structure and principles of operation of the ribosome, the "protein factory", which operates in every living cell. She also discovered how antibiotic drugs work, by disrupting the ribosomes of the bacteria they attack. Her many years of work is of great importance in finding solutions to the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, a subject that has worried the world of medicine in recent years.

Prof. Yonat explains the importance of the research she leads: "In the context of antibiotic drugs, my team and I seek to understand two key issues: the first is the mechanisms that give aggressive bacteria resistance to antibiotics, creating a problem of reduced effectiveness for the drugs we use today; The second is the subtle differences between the properties of human cells and those of the attacking bacteria, which will help us develop less toxic antibiotics, with fewer harmful side effects."
Prof. Yonat says about winning the award: "It's great to receive awards, and the feeling is fantastic, but the satisfaction at work is much greater. It took us 20 years to reach the highest peak, and there were many more peaks we climbed along the way. I would like to thank the wonderful team I work with, without whom I would not have reached this summit."

Prof. Ada Yonat, 68 years old, won the Israel Chemistry Research Prize for 2002, the Louisa Gross Horowitz Prize from Columbia University for 2005, the Ehrlich-Darmstadter Medal for 2007 (the highest award in the field of medicine in Germany), the Wolf Prize for 2007 and other international awards and honors.

Nava Ravid, CEO of L'Oreal Israel, congratulates: "L'Oreal Israel, and I as a woman, are proud and excited about the selection of Prof. Ada Yonat for the L'Oreal-UNESCO Award "For Women in Science" for 2008. This year will be the 10th anniversary of the L'Oreal-UNESCO Project for Women's Excellence in science. This is a great right for women, and a great right for Israel. L'Oreal nurtures women both in the field of beauty and in the field of scientific excellence. In a reality where in the last hundred years 516 men and only 12 women have won the Nobel Prize, L'Oréal has an obligation and honor to support the advancement of women scientists all over the world"

The other four winners for 2008 are:
Laureate for North America: Professor Elizabeth Blackburn. Biology and Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, USA. "Discovering the nature and maintenance of chromosome ends and their role in cancer and aging"
Laureate for Latin America: Professor Anna Belen Alguihan. Institute of Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina. "Understanding the molecular basis of hearing"
Laureate for Asia - Pacific Ocean Region: Associate Professor F. Kim Neri. School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. Clarifying the creation of a new class of RNA molecules associated with gene regulation"
The laureate for Africa: Professor Lihad Al-Ghazali. Genetics and Research in Pediatrics, University of the United Arab Principalities, United Arab Principalities. "Characterization of hereditary disorders"

The unique collaboration created by the L'Oréal-UNESCO project "For Women in Science" aims to recognize the contribution of prominent women scientists to scientific progress, and to encourage the participation of women in scientific research. The prize brides serve as role models for generations to come, encouraging young women around the world to follow in their footsteps. The prizes are awarded annually in the fields of life sciences and applied sciences alternatively. In the 10 years since the establishment of the L'Oréal-UNESCO project, 52 women from 26 countries have been recognized so far, who in their scientific research have developed new, sometimes revolutionary ways to improve the quality of human life.

Through their work in life and applied sciences, L'Oréal-UNESCO laureates investigate and solve the central challenges of modern science. The laureates have made outstanding progress in areas as diverse as ecology and sustainable solutions; gene therapy and hereditary diseases; Medicines of the future and innovative technologies. for further details: .

The L'Oréal-UNESCO collaboration "For Women in Science" is the first of its kind in the world and has a strong resonance. This is the proof of the business world regarding its responsibility to drive the advancement of science, and it is an expression of the recognition of government institutions for the positive contribution of the business world, to the solution of the strategic problems of tomorrow's world. The L'Oréal-UNESCO Award "For Women in Science" is considered one of the most prestigious awards for famous women scientists at an international level and concerns every woman scientist all over the world. For more details on the award website

The L'Oreal concern employs 3000 scientists in the various disciplines (dermatology, chemistry, etc.) working in the group's 14 research centers, located in France, Asia, America and more. In their achievements they are responsible for registering hundreds of patents each year. The percentage of women employed in the global L'Oreal concern is 55% of the workforce - a percentage unmatched anywhere else in the industry. This year (2007) the concern founded the L'Oreal Foundation, which is committed to 3 important goals: encouraging education, fostering scientific research and involvement in the community. Among the other philanthropic initiatives handled by the new fund, the L'Oréal-UNESCO project "For Women in Science" is also included. For more information

UNESCO has been driving the mission of promoting science since its founding in 1945. Today, the organization encourages international cooperation in the basic sciences among its 193 member countries, and promotes ethical norms in science. The organization also dedicated itself to eliminating all forms of discrimination and promoting equality between men and women in this field. Along with the development of educational programs in science specifically designed for girls, UNESCO has established a network of academic chairs connecting women in science around the world. For more information