(Chidambaram, India, 1952). Venki Ramakrishnan is the current President of the Royal Society of London and also a Nobel Prize-winning biologist whose many scientific contributions include his work on the atomic structure of the ribosome. He has worked as a group leader at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, UK, where he is also the Deputy Director.
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 in 2009 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.