Venkatraman Ramakrishnanwas born in the year 1952 in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India.
He pursued his Undergraduate studies at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda under a National Science Talent Scholarship and obtained a degree in Physics in 1971. He then moved to the United States of America and obtained his PhD in Physics from the Ohio University where he worked with Prof. Maurico Montal, a Membrane Biochemist at the University of California, San Diego. It is at this stage that he made a transition from Theoretical Physics to Biology.
He worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow at Yale University and then went to Brookhaven National Laboratory as a Staff Scientist, and in collaboration with Stephen White began cloning genes for several ribosomal proteins to determine their three-dimensional structures. He was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Prof. Thomas Steitz and Prof. Ada Yonath for studies of the structure and function of the Ribosome.
Prof. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan delivered the G.P. Birla Distinguished Lecture “Antibiotics and the Cell’s Protein Factory” on December 21, 2013. He is seen above, handing over the B.M. Birla Science Prize for 2012.