Tamil Nadu-born Venkatraman receives Nobel Prize in Chemistry



Stockholm: Tamil Nadu-born Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, one of the three winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry, today received the prize at a gala ceremony here along with other recipients.

The other Nobel laureates in literature, economics, physics and medicine also received their prizes from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal event in Stockholm's Concert Hall. A record five women were awarded the Nobel this year.

Born in 1952 in Chidambaram and a senior scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, Ramakrishnan shared the Nobel prize with Thomas E Steitz (US) and Ada E Yonath (Israel) for their "studies of the structure and function of the ribosome".

"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 atomic level," the Nobel committee had said in its citation.

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. 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.