King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden presented Yonath with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in the traditional lavish Stockholm ceremony.
Proud moment in Stockholm (Photo: Reuters)
The ceremony opened with the entrance of the royal family of Sweden and the playing of the local national anthem, followed by a Mozart piece and the traditional speeches. This year, a record of five women received Nobel Prizes in Stockholm, winning the prestigious 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) awards.
The Prime Minister's Office later issued the following statement to congratulate Yonath on her achievement: "The prime minister, the Israeli government, and the Israeli people laud Professor Ada Yonath on the occasion of receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009, and thank her for the honor and achievements she bestowed upon the state and its citizens, Israel's scientific community, and higher education institutions."
Yonath, who shared the honor with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz, is the fourth woman to ever win the Chemistry Nobel prize. The 70-year-old professor was born in Jerusalem and studied at Hebrew University in the capital. She completed her PhD at the Weizmann Institute and later continued her studies in the US.
At this time, Yonath serves as a tenured professor at the Weizmann Institute, where she lectures and engages in research.
Earlier in the emotional day, Yonath told Ynet: "I imagine that even those who do want to go into to the sciences understand that not every scientist receives prizes, but I am sure this exposure has already had an effect."
" I have already heard of children who want to study chemistry because of this. I hope little girls do, too," she said.
Roni Sofer and AP contributed to the story