NYU School Of Medicine 169th Graduation Ceremony May 19th

Ada Yonath, PhD, ScD, 2009 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry Keynote Speaker

May 19, 2011 - 3:47pm

New York University School of Medicine held its 169th annual graduation on  Thursday,  May 19, 2011, at  Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts  in Manhattan.   Ada Yonath, PhD, ScD, NYU Hon. ’11, the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professor of Structural Biology and director, The Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel and 2009 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry delivered the keynote address.





About Dr. Ada Yonath
Dr. Ada YonathBorn in Jerusalem, Israel, Professor Ada Yonath, studied at the Hebrew University, earned a PhD degree from Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in Israel and completed her postdoctoral studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, universities in the USA. She studies protein biosynthesis, focusing on ribosomes, which translates the genetic code into proteins and on their inhibition by antibiotics, including mechanisms for acquiring antibiotics resistance. She is using X-ray crystallography supported by molecular biology, mutagenesis and other biophysical methods. In the ’70s she established the first laboratory for protein crystallography in Israel, which was the only laboratory of this kind in the country for almost a decade. Currently she is the Kimmel Professor of structural biology at WIS, and the Director of the Kimmelman Center for Bimolecular Structure and Assembly. From 1986–2004 she also headed the Max-Planck Research Unit in Hamburg, Germany.  In 2009 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. 

The Ceremony
Robert I. Grossman, MDFollowing the procession, class president, Rishi Vohra, MD, delivered his remarks.  Robert I. Grossman, MD, Saul J. Farber Dean and Chief Executive Officer of NYU Langone Medical Center then addressed the men and women of the class of 2011 who have embarked on what Dr. Grossman referred to as “an ancient and eternally noble calling.”  He also acknowledged the presence of Mrs. Helen Kimmel, medical center trustee, and, for the past 25 years, a major benefactress of Dr. Yonath and her research. Read Dean Grossman's full remarks.

Dr. Grossman then introduced Dr. Yonath who delivered her keynote address, touching on her life and what it has been like after receiving her Nobel Prize. In response to someone who had asked how a person could win a Nobel she stated that you have to stop dreaming and start working.  She exhorted the class to do just that.       
The conferring of diplomas took place directly after her talk and Dr. Grossman then administered the Hippocratic Oath. A champagne brunch reception was held for the graduates, their families and faculty.

Anthony J. Grieco, MD, associate dean for Alumni Relations and Academic Events, Martin Lipton, Esq., NYU Board of Trustees,   Kenneth G.  Langone, chair,  NYU Langone Medical Center Board of Trustees and Robert Berne, PhD, executive vice president for health, New York University  attended and offered greetings to the graduates.


About the Class of 2011
The Class of 2011 was comprised of 172 students, 86 men and 86 women all receiving Doctor of Medicine degrees.  In addition, six students received a Master of Science degree, nine students were awarded the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees through the Medical Scientist Training Program, and eight degrees were conferred with honors. The class included 27 members of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national honor medical society, established in 1902.


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