Tag Archives: Ada Yonath

Nobel Laureates: Great thinkers and leaders you didn’t know are Lasallian

De La Salle University brings world leaders closer to future leaders.

Nobel prizes are given out to exemplary individuals for advancements in various fields. Did you know that several Nobel Prize winners are Lasallian?

DLSU is the only Philippine university that has the initiative to regularly invite Nobel Laureates, some of the most brilliant minds in the world, to share their knowledge and interact with members of the Lasallian community such as faculty, students, alumni, and staff. The University also confers upon them honorary degrees.

As the University’s honorary degree holders, the Nobel Laureates are welcomed to the academic community comprised of students, faculty, personnel, and alumni. They are community members and Lasallians who serve as an inspiration to the youth and society as a whole.

Some of the most popular Nobel Laureates include Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Marie Curie, Ernest Hemingway, Malala Yousafzai, and Barack Obama. Isn’t it great to know there are Lasallians — namely Mario Vargas-Llosa, Ada Yonath, Richard Heck, and Eric Maskin — amongst these brilliant minds?

Read on to learn more about Nobel Laureates who are Lasallian!



Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize in Literature (2010)

A Lasallian at heart, Llosa would recall fondly his formative years at the Colegio La Salle in both Bolivia and Peru, where a La Salle brother taught him how to read. “Learning how to read was the most important event in my life,” he said. He also added that his vocation as a storyteller was ultimately born in those years.

Vargas Llosa received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his “cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.” He has also received numerous international awards for his body of work. During his talk in DLSU in 2016, Vargas- Llosa received an honorary doctorate in literature.



Ada Yonath, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2009)

Yonath is a woman of many firsts. She is the first woman in 45 years to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She is also the first Israeli and Middle Eastern woman to take home this prestigious honor.

Professor Yonath is widely known for her revolutionary study that helped make antibiotics more effective. She has generated 3D models that have revolutionized the field of structural biology and are now used by scientists in order to develop new antibiotics, directly assisting the saving of lives. Dr. Yonath delivered a lecture in DLSU in 2015 and received an honorary doctorate in science from the University.



Richard Heck, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2010)

American scientist Richard Heck received a Nobel for his work in palladium catalyzed coupling reactions and organic synthesis. Heck and his team were able to invent new ways to bind carbon atoms.

Results of this study have been used for various purposes such as combating cancer, manufacturing thinner computer screens, protecting crops, and improving anti-inflammatory analgesics. Heck received an honorary degree from DLSU in 2012. Heck was also an adjunct professor of the University’s Chemistry Department. He retired and made the Philippines his home until he passed away in 2015.



Eric Maskin, Nobel Prize in Economics (2017)

Dr. Maskin received his Nobel in 2007 for laying the foundation for mechanism design, which has applications in economics, politics, and networked systems. Most of his work overlaps with fields such as mathematics, law, government, computer science, biology, and philosophy.

Maskin has a professorship at Harvard University, the highest honor given to their faculty members. He was named Adams University professor in 2012. He came to DLSU in 2017 and was conferred an honorary degree in economic sciences.

In pursuit of its mission as a resource for Church and Nation, DLSU fosters global understanding by opening its doors to international movers and shakers, like these Nobel Laureates!


DLSU confers honorary degree in science on Nobel Laureate

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DLSU President-Designate Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC presents a token of appreciation to Prof. Ada Yonath after she is given a honorary degree in science.

De La Salle University conferred upon 2009 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry Professor Ada Yonath by awarding her an honorary degree in science last March 2 at the DLSU Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium, coinciding with Bridges lecture she delivered on campus.

Best known for her pioneering work on the structure and atomic workings of the ribosome, the cell’s “protein factory,” the esteemed scientist also established the first protein crystallography laboratory in Israel. Prof. Yonath has generated 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome and how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

In addition, she introduced a novel technique called cryo bio-crystallography that “revolutionized the field of structural biology and has given it wide-ranging applications, particularly in the development and design of new antibiotics.” She is also the first woman from the Middle East to win the Nobel Prize in science and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Prof. Yonath received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and her master’s degree in Biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1962 and 1964, respectively. She earned her PhD in X-Ray Crystallography at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1968.

She held postdoctoral positions in Carnegie Mellon University in 1969 and MIT in 1970, where she worked with 1976 Chemistry Nobel Laureate William N. Lipscomb, Jr. of Harvard University.

In addition, Prof. Yonath was also visiting professor at the University of Chicago, visiting scientist at the Heinz-Günter Wittmann, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, and head of a Max-Planck Research Unit at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg while continuing her research activities at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she was the holder of the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professorial Chair.

The Bridges lecture series is an event organized by both the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation and DLSU and, over the years, has included celebrated individuals such as former New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, Nobel Laureate for Physics David Jonathan Gross, Nobel Laureate for Economics Robert Mundell, former Timor-Leste President and Nobel Laureate for Peace Jose Ramos-Horta, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Nobel Laureate for Medicine Torsten Wiesel, and  former President of Poland and Nobel Laureate for Peace Lech Walesa.

DLSU 2015 Research Congress Celebrates Notable Women in Science

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De La Salle University honors notable women in the scientific community with its annual Research Congress, which will be held on campus this March 2 to 4. The congress will feature a forum featuring researches by outstanding women chemists in the country as well as a lecture by 2009 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry Prof. Ada Yonath.

Guest speakers include National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz, Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute Dr. Alumanda dela Rosa, and DLSU Associate Professors Dr. Nancy Lazaro-Llanos and Dr. Julita Robles. Their talks will cover Biochemistry, Radiation Chemistry, Ribosomes, and X-ray Crystallography respectively.

“From Basic Science to Advanced Medicine–Molecules of Life and Their Impact on Modern Biomedical Research,” a lecture by Prof. Ada Yonath, is hosted in partnership with the International Peace Foundation’s Bridges–Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace program.

The DLSU Research Congress aims to provide an opportunity for researchers, educators, and students to disseminate their research outputs. It is also a platform for dialogue, the exchange of ideas, and collaboration.

Expected attendees are leaders of educational institutions, professional, government and non-government organizations, and other groups at the forefront of science, engineering and medicine, such as the National Academy of Science and Technology as well as technical panels of DOST, CHED, and DepEd. Also attending are students from DLSU and top high schools in the country.


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