A Lecture by Professor Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel Laureate and President Royal Society MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK on “The Use of Recent Developments in Electron Microscopy to Study RIBOSOME Structure" delivered on 5th January, 2016 at CSIR-IMTECH
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, popularly known as Venki is a structural biologist and President of the Royal Society since November 2015. In 2009 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath, "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome". Since 1999, 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 is also a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
About the Speaker:
Venki was born in Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. He did his B. Sc. from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Physics in 1971. He did his PhD degree in Physics from Ohio University in 1976 for research into the ferroelectric phase transition of Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate (KDP) supervised by Tomoyasu Tanaka. He then spent couple of years studying biology as a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego. His encounter with ribosomes started after he joined as a postdoctoral fellow with Peter Moore at Yale University. He was a staff scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory from 1983-95, where he continued to work on ribosomes. He moved to the University of Utah as Professor of Biochemistry in 1995 and then to his current position at Cambridge in 1999.
In 1999, Ramakrishnan's laboratory published a 5.5 Angstrom resolution structure of the 30S subunit. The following year, his laboratory determined the complete molecular structure of the 30S subunit of the ribosome and its complexes with several antibiotics. This was followed by studies that provided structural insights into the mechanism that ensures the fidelity of protein biosynthesis. In 2007 his laboratory has determined the atomic structure of the whole ribosome in complex with its tRNA and mRNA ligands.