Thursday, 8 October 2009

Congratulations Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishna

Dr Ramakrishna has made India proud by winning this year 's Nobel Prize for Chemistry which he shares with two other scientists.
Dr Venky is the 7th Indian to win a Nobel.
Here is a Times of India report

WASHINGTON: An India-born structural biologist whose quest for scientific excellence took him from undergraduate schools in India to graduate and
post-doc studies in US and research in UK was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for work on proteins that control life. ( Watch Video ) Dr Venkatraman ''Venky'' Ramakrishnan, 58, who had his early education in the temple town of Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, and Vadodra, Gujarat, before he made tracks to the United States, joined the long list of peripatetic Indians who had early education in India but thrived in the western academic eco-system, to have won the Nobel. Also with a chemistry Nobel, Indians or those with an India-connect figure in all prize categories. The Swedish Nobel Committee awarded the Prize to Dr Ramakrishnan, who is currently affiliated with the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, for his work on protein-producing ribosomes, and its translation of DNA information into life. He will share the Prize with Dr Thomas Steitz of Yale University, Connecticut, and Dr Ada Yonath of Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. In a statement following the announcement of the award, Dr Ramakrishnan expressed gratitude to ``all of the brilliant associates, students and post docs who worked in my lab as science is a highly collaborative enterprise.'' He credited the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the University of Utah for supporting his work and the collegiate atmosphere there that made it all possible. ( Watch Video ) ``The idea of supporting long term basic research like that at LMB does lead to breakthroughs, the ribosome is already starting to show its medical importance,'' he said. The practical importance of Dr Ramakrishnan's work arises from ribosomes being present in all living cells, including those of bacteria. Human and bacterial ribosomes are slightly different, making the ribosome a good target for antibiotic therapy that works by blocking the bacteriums ability to make the proteins it needs to function. Ramakrishnan, Steitz and Yonath demonstrated what the ribosome looks like and how it functions at an atomic level using a visualisation method called X-ray crystallography to map the position of each of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome, according to the MRC. ``This year's three Laureates have all generated 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome. These models are now used by scientists in order to develop new antibiotics, directly assisting the saving of lives and decreasing humanity's suffering,'' the Nobel citation explained. Scientists say growing knowledge of the ribosome has created targets for a new generation of antibiotics. The instruction manual for the creation of proteins is DNA, but the ribosome is the machine which takes information transcribed onto messenger RNA and turns it into proteins. Elaborating, the MRC said Dr Ramakrishnan's basic research on the arrangement of atoms in the ribosome has allowed his team not only to gain detailed knowledge of how it contributes to protein production but also to see directly how antibiotics bind to specific pockets in the ribosome structure. Dr Ramakrishnan will share the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.4 million) Nobel Prize money (1/3rd each), in a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10.

7 Fertilize my soul:

Becka said...

Congrats to him & to ya'll in India,
Iknow that makes you proud,,

Donetta said...

Wonderful to see the progress of those lives and the effects that will surly change lives.

It looks like all of you had so much fun!
You must be resting up after last week. My absence has left me thinking of you fondly. Just wanted to tell you hello and hugs

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Congrats to Dr. Ram!

Ha ha, all of the professors from India I ever knew went by nicknames, since we could not get the pronounciation of the longer names down. I knew lots of Dr. Raj's, Dr. Ram's, and tons of professors nicknamed by their intials -- PK, PJ, RJ, etc. The professors got even with us, tho -- I was "Olly" and "Oly" to almost everyone, I guess the letter "H" is difficult in a lot of languages!!!

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
Congratulations s to India.
They say that in 20 years India will be a world leader. I think the hard working and highly educated inhabitants of India will prove that right.
And that is worth many Nobel prizes. I'm thinking of all the hardships India has had to fight to come this far.
From Felisol

Amrita said...

Thank you friends.

Yes 'Olly, South Indian names are specially dfficult to pronounce, many of them goby them go by nick names.
When we heard that a South Indian had proposed marriage to my sister (through friends) we teased her about the name till we learnt he had a North Indian name!

Dr Venky is the 7th Indian to win a Nobel Prize.

Amrita said...

Dear Felisol, You have such sympathy and concern for my country.Yes we have had many struggles and still have but somehow God is gifting our people with skills for the advancement of mankind.
Dr Venky 's discovery will save many lives I am told.

India is producing world class scholars and they can do our own country a lot of good too but because of our vast population and por infrastructure and lack of education in rural areas development has slowed down.

Buttercup said...

Big congratulations! I read the article in The New York Times this morning during my subway ride on the way to work and was very impressed by the the winners and their accomplishments.