Prof. Thomas Steitz is the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Yale University. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1990. His research in the field of protein and nucleic acid X-ray crystallography, including his recent work with Prof. Moore on the 50S ribosome structure, has had wide-ranging impact in the global scientific community. In 2001, Prof. Steitz, together with Professors Peter Moore and Harry Noller, received the Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Sciences for their research on the ribosome. Together with Professor Venki Ramakrishnan of the MRC and Professor Ada Yonath of the Weitzmann Institute, Professor Steitz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.