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Fellows Directory

Venki Ramakrishnan

Credit: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan PRS

Fellow


Elected: 2003

Biography

Venkatraman ‘Venki’ Ramakrishnan is a Nobel Prize-winning biologist whose many scientific contributions include his work on the atomic structure of the ribosome. As the site within living cells where the genetic information is read to synthesise proteins from amino acids, improved understanding of the ribosome has yielded many fundamental biological insights.

He determined the atomic structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit followed by structures of the entire ribosome in many different states and in complexes with several antibiotics. More recently, he has been using electron microscopy to visualise ribosomes in action in higher organisms. This work has advanced our understanding of how the ribosome works and how antibiotics inhibit it. In the past he has also worked on histone and chromatin structure, which help us to understand how DNA is organised in cells.

Venki received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosomal structure and was knighted in 2012. He is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina and EMBO, and a Foreign Member of the Indian National Science Academy. In 2015, he was elected as President of the Royal Society for a five-year term.

Professional positions

Group Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
President, The Royal Society

Interests and expertise

Subject groups

Keywords

Electron cryo-microscopy, Macromolecular crystallography, Messenger RNA, Ribosomes, Translation initiation, Translation termination

Awards

  • Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine

    No citation available for this award.

  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    Jointly with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.