Thomas A. Steitz life and biography

Thomas A. Steitz picture, image, poster

Thomas A. Steitz biography

Date of birth : 1940-08-23
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-09-20
Credited as : chemist, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, molecular studies

0 votes so far

Biophysicist and chemist Thomas A. Steitz won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing the honor with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Ada E. Yonath. Steitz has extensively studied the molecular, chemical, and biological mechanisms of proteins and nucleic acids. At his laboratory at Yale, Steitz has mapped the position of hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome, paying special attention to understanding how the ribosome is targeted for antibiotics. He has also refined the principles of ribonucleic acid (RNA) folding, stability, and RNA-protein interaction, provided the first detailed structural analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polymerase, and studied the protein structure and mechanism of yeast hexokinase. His wife, Joan Steitz, is a biochemist at Yale, and their son, Jon Steitz, was a minor-league baseball pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers' farm system.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Steitz studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Lawrence University. While there he was a member of the fraternity, Delta Tau Delta,the Delta Nu chapter.

He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University in 1966 where he worked under direction of subsequent 1976 chemistry Nobel Prize winner William N. Lipscomb, Jr. While at Harvard after the training task of determining the structure of the small molecule methyl ethylene phosphate,Steitz made these contributions to determining the atomic structures of carboxypeptidase A and aspartate carbamoyltransferase, each the largest atomic structure determined in its time. The structure of the large 50S ribosomal subunit, which Steitz later determined in his own lab at Yale University, and for which Steitz was awarded the Nobel Prize is even larger.


American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Academy of Microbiology
Pfizer Award (American Chemical Society) 1980
American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1990
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1986-)
National Academy of Sciences 1996
Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science 2001
Keio Medical Science Prize 2006
Gairdner Foundation International Award 2007 (with Harry F. Noller)
George Palade Award 2008
Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2009 (with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Ada E. Yonath)
AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize 2001
Rib-X Pharmaceuticals Co-Founder (2000)

Read more

Please read our privacy policy. Page generated in 0.111s