George E. Palade, Ph.D., who served on the Yale faculty from 1973 to 1990, and was the first chair of cell biology, shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Albert Claude, Ph.D., and Christian de Duve, Ph.D. The prize was granted for “for their discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of the cell.” Palade’s innovations in electron microscopy laid the foundations of modern cell biology.

Sidney Altman, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and professor of chemistry, shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Thomas R. Cech, Ph.D., “for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA.”

Thomas A. Steitz, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, professor of chemistry, and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., and Ada E. Yonath, Ph.D., “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.”