Indian Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry , Venkatraman Ramakrishnan wins Nobel prize for Chemistry

Tamil Nadu-born Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a senior scientist at the MRC Laborartory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, has been awarded the ...


Tamil Nadu-born Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a senior scientist at the MRC Laborartory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009 along with two others, the Nobel Committee announced today.

This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry awards Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A Steitz and Ada E Yonath for having showed what the ribosome looks like and how it functions at the atomic level," the Nobel committee said in its citation.

Born in 1952 in Chidambaram, Ramakrishnan shares the Nobel prize with Thomas E Steitz (US) and Ada E Yonath (Israel) for their "studies of the structure and function of the ribosome".

Ramakrishnan earned his B.Sc. in Physics (1971) from Baroda University and his Ph.D. in Physics (1976) from Ohio University.

He moved into biology at the University of California, San Diego, where he took a year of classes, then conducted research with Dr Mauricio Montal, a membrane biochemist.


All three have used a method called X-ray crystallography to map the position for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome, it said.


Better known as Venky among friends, Ramakrishnan started out as a theoretical physicist. After graduate school, he designed his own 2-year transition from physics to biology.

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