Keystone Symposia - News

Keystone Symposia Congratulates Nobel Prize and Lasker Award Winners

SILVERTHORNE, CO – October 8, 2009 – Keystone Symposia congratulates Dr. Ada E. Yonath, Dr. Thomas A. Steitz and Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan for their pioneering work on the structure and function of the ribosome that has won them the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Dr. Ada Yonath is the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professor of Structural Biology and Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She regularly presents at Keystone Symposia conferences including the recent meeting on “Protein Dynamics, Allostery and Function” held in Keystone, Colorado in June 2009.

Dr. Steitz is the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Yale University. He will present at Keystone Symposia’s upcoming 2010 meeting on “Antibiotics and Resistance: Challenges and Solutions” taking place February 14-19, 2010 in Santa Fe, New Mexico (see Many antibiotics kill bacteria by blocking their ribosomes; his talk will be entitled “From the Structures of Ribosome-Antibiotic Complexes to New Antibiotics.”

Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is senior scientist and group leader in the Structural Studies Division of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Great Britain. He has also spoken at a variety of Keystone Symposia conferences.

Keystone Symposia also congratulates winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Dr. Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco and Dr. Jack W. Szostak of Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The three won for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. All have participated in past Keystone Symposia conferences. Coincidentally, Keystone Symposia convenes its conference on “Telomere Biology and DNA Repair” on October 9, 2009 in Ashmore, Queensland, Australia, the first conference for the organization in that country (see

Other recent distinguished award-winners that Keystone Symposia congratulates include Sir John Gurdon of the University of Cambridge and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application/Frontier Medical Science at Kyoto University, who share the 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discoveries related to nuclear reprogramming, the process that instructs specialized adult cells to form early stem cells, as well as Dr. Brian J. Druker of Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Nicholas B. Lydon, formerly of Novartis, and Dr. Charles L. Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center who share the 2009 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for the development of molecularly-targeted treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia.

All have been longtime Keystone Symposia participants. Dr. Yamanaka is co-organizing and speaking at Keystone Symposia’s upcoming conference on “Stem Cell Differentiation and Dedifferentiation” in Keystone, Colorado, February 15-20, 2010 along with Dr. Fiona M. Watt (see Dr. Sawyers is scheduled to speak at the meeting on “Nuclear Receptors: Signaling, Gene Regulation and Cancer” in Keystone, Colorado, March 21-26, 2010 (see