Professor Yonath is the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professor of Structural Biology and the Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Her work focuses on the mechanisms underlying protein biosynthesis, by use of ribosomal crystallography. In 2009, she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz for her studies on the structure and function of the ribosome, becoming the first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize out of ten Israeli Nobel laureates, the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel prize in the sciences, and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Professor Lehman is an evolutionary biochemist at Portland State University, the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Molecular Evolution, and the President of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life – The Astrobiology Society. His research is focused on the biochemical and genetic issues involved with the origins of life on the Earth. Dr. Lehman is interested in applying the same principles that govern the changes over time in modern populations of organisms to the populations of molecules that comprised the “primordial soup” from which life self-organized some 4 billion years ago. His research has two central themes. One is the role of recombination in the RNA World, and the other is the role of divalent metal ions in ribozyme-directed catalysis.
Dr. Domagal-Goldman is a Research Space Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. His research focuses on characterizing the habitability of rocky extrasolar planets, and on characterizing Earth’s biosphere through geological time. He is also extremely passionate about science communication, and believes it is our responsibility as publicly-funded scientists to bring the results of our research back to the public. He has helped to organize many of the extremely successful FameLab events in the US and he is always looking for new opportunities to talk about NASA science in public forums.