VENKATRAMAN "VENKI" RAMAKRISHNAN is a Nobel Prize-winning biologist whose many scientific contributions include his work on the atomic structure of the ribosome.
His team 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, his lab 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.
Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosomal structure and was knighted in 2012. He is Deputy Director, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and, in 2015, he was elected as President of the Royal Society for a five-year term. He is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina and EMBO, and a Foreign Member of the Indian National Science Academy.