Venki Ramakrishnan

The ACA is incredibly excited to share that Dr. Ramakrishnan will be joining us on Friday and Saturday.  The entire conference will open with an amazing keynote focusing on Dr. Ramakrishnan's career and accomplishments.  Then register to join us on Saturday for a special luncheon focused on students and early career scientists.  





YSIG LUNCH: Saturday, July 8, 2023 @ 11:30 AM ET | Dover A-B


Join us for a buffet lunch and following the lunch, Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan will be available to personally sign copies of "Gene Machine." This is an exceptional chance to interact with the author and gain unique insights into his work and incredible accomplishments.  We invite YSIG members to join us for free and for any other level of membership, the cost for the lunch is $100 UDS. We encourage attendees to bring copies of "Gene Machine" as we will not have any onsite for purchase.  This lunch is graciously sponsored in part by the American Institute of Physics.  


KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Friday, July 7, 2023 @ 6:30 PM ET | Waterview ABCD

Join us on Friday, July 7th as we open the 73rd ACA Annual Meeting and listen to Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan, structural biologist, author and 2009 Nobel Prize winner.  

My Adventures in the Ribosome by Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan

The ribosome is the ancient and enormous molecular machine that reads genetic information on mRNA to synthesize proteins. Although it was discovered in the 1950s, it took several decades to determine an atomic structure of the ribosome because of its complexity. This talk will cover my own efforts to unravel its structure, as well as how newer structural methods like cryo-electron microscopy are allowing us to tackle increasingly harder problems such as regulation of the ribosome in higher organisms and the ribosomes of mitochondria, the organelles in our cells that are descendants of bacteria. I will also touch on my own peripatetic career which took a turn from physics to structural biology.


About Dr. Ramakrishnan 


Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan is a renowned structural biologist and author who has made significant contributions to the field of molecular biology. He was born on October 29, 1952, in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Dr. Ramakrishnan is best known for his pioneering work on the structure and function of the ribosome, a complex molecular machine responsible for protein synthesis in all living organisms.

After completing his undergraduate studies in physics at Baroda University in India, Ramakrishnan pursued a Ph.D. in physics at Ohio University in the United States. However, he soon developed an interest in biology and switched his research focus to molecular biology. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in 1976 and continued his postdoctoral research at Yale University, where he worked on the structure of transfer RNA.

Dr. Ramakrishnan's breakthrough came in the early 2000s when he led a team of scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. Using X-ray crystallography, they successfully determined the detailed atomic structure of the ribosome. This groundbreaking achievement provided profound insights into the ribosome's mechanism of protein synthesis, which have wide-ranging implications for understanding fundamental biological processes and developing novel antibiotics.

For his remarkable contributions, Dr. Ramakrishnan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, along with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath, for their pioneering studies on the structure and function of the ribosome. He became the first Indian-born scientist to receive a Nobel Prize in the scientific field.

In addition to his scientific research, Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan is also an accomplished author. He has written a popular science book titled "Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome," published in 2018. The book provides a captivating account of the journey towards understanding the ribosome and sheds light on the collaborative efforts and challenges faced by scientists in unraveling the mysteries of life at the molecular level.

Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan's contributions to structural biology and his engaging writing have made him a highly respected figure in the scientific community and beyond. He continues to inspire and educate aspiring scientists while advocating for the importance of scientific research and its impact on society.