Women Nobel Laureates in 2009

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  • Author Jameson Parker
  • Published March 20, 2010
  • Word count 689

The Nobel Foundation started in 1900 based on the will and testament of Alfred Nobel written on 27th November 1895. As per his wish, the award should be given to those who make outstanding contributions to the mankind in the five areas, Physics, Chemistry, Medicine or Physiology, Literature, and Peace, while Economics category added later in 1968. Bertha von Suttner was effective in convincing Alfred Nobel to establish a Prize for Peace category. 2009 is the year in which the most Nobel prizes are awarded to women in one year, with five women Nobel laureates.

Women Nobel Laureates:

Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903. After this, women have been winning Nobel Prizes but in very lower numbers compared to their male colleagues. In 2009, it is a record for most Nobel prizes are awarded to women in one year. In 2004, there were three, and in all remaining years there were 2, 1, or 0. The Nobel Prize and Prize in Economic Sciences are presented to women 41 times from 1901 to 2009. Marie Curie is the only woman who has been awarded twice, with the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. So, there are 40 women in total who were awarded the Nobel Prize in between 1901 and 2009.

The five Women Nobel Prize Winners of 2009 are Ada E. Yonath in Chemistry, Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider in Medicine, Herta Müller in Literature and Elinor Ostrom in Economics.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009:

Ada E. Yonath of Israel was awarded Nobel Prize along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of United States, Thomas A. Steitz of USA for their research on the structure and function of the ribosome.

Ada E. Yonath is the fourth woman to win Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She is the first Israeli woman to achieve the Nobel Prize from nine Israeli Nobel laureates, and also the first woman who is in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. She is a Crystallographer well known for discovering the structure of the ribosome. Yonath illustrated the procedures of action of nearly twenty different antibiotics directing the ribosome and mechanisms of drug resistance and combination.

Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009:

Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider was awarded Nobel Prize along with Jack W. Szostak of USA for the discovery of how chromosomes are guarded by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider are ninth women to win Nobel Prize in Medicine. Elizabeth H. Blackburn is a biological researcher and studied the telomere, a structure at the end of chromosomes that helps in protecting the chromosome. Blackburn contributed in discovering telomerase enzyme, which makes up the telomere. Carol W. Greider is a molecular biologist and was a co-discoverer of the enzyme telomerase in 1984 when working under Elizabeth Blackburn.

Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009:

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Herta Müller of Germany. She is the 12th woman in 108 years to receive Nobel Prize for literature. Mueller, a delegate of Romania's ethnic German minority, was honored for her work as described by Nobel foundation "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed." Herta Müller is a novelist, poet and essayist famous for her works illustrating the effects of violence, cruelty and terror, generally observed in the place of Communist Romania under the governance of Nicolae Ceausescu regime, which she had experienced herself.

Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009:

The Nobel Prize in Economics for 2009 was awarded jointly to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson of USA.

Elinor Ostrom was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in economics. Ostrom showed how common resources like forests, fisheries, oil fields or grazing lands can be managed well by the people who use them, instead of governments or private companies.

Women were awarded Nobel prizes for 12 times in the field of peace and literature, followed by 10 Nobel prizes awarded to women for medicine. Female laureates were awarded four times in chemistry, and twice in physics. 2009 is considered as record year of Woman Nobel Laureates and shows the progress and contribution by woman across all the fields.

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