Israeli scientist Ada Yonath has become the fourth woman in history and the first since 1964 to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Yonath shares the prize with two Americans, Venkatraman Ramakrishman and Thomas Steitz, for their work that led to the creation of new antibiotics. The three scientists were honored for the atom-by-atom mapping of ribosomes, which build protein in cells.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Scientists announced the award Wednesday, saying the three have contributed to the fundamental understanding of life.
Yonath, 70, was the first Israeli to send research material on NASA missions to outer space. She has now worked with NASA on 12 missions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres both called Yonath to congratulate her.
"I'm deeply proud," Netanyahu said. "The Nobel Prize is humanity's true Olympics."
Yonath is the first Nobel winner from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot near Tel Aviv. She will share the $1.4 million dollar prize with the other two scientists.
"I am really, really happy," she said. "I thought it was wonderful when the discovery came. It was a series of discoveries…We still don't know every, everything, but we progressed a lot."
Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, The Associated Press