Profiles of Leading Women Scientists on AcademiaNet – an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
The biologist Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, researcher at the Laboratory for Molecular Biology of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge and member of the Leopoldina, has taken office as president of the Royal Society on 1 December 2015. He is successor of the biochemist Sir Paul Nurse who has been president since 2010.
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is a structural biologist. In 2009, he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Thomas A. Seitz and Ada Yonath. The three scientists described the three-dimensional structure of ribosomes and the mechanism of protein production. This research is highly relevant to the development of new antibiotic agents.
Ramakrishnan studied physics at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India, and at Ohio University, USA, where he earned his PhD. After studies of biology at the University of California San Diego, USA, he was a researcher at Yale University, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and at Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA. From 1995, he was a professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah, USA. Since 1999, he is working at the Laboratory for Molecular Biology of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK. From 2006 to 2008 he was Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. Ramakrishnan ist a member of the Leopoldina in the section Biochemistry and Biophysics since 2010.