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Sir Venki Ramakrishnan confirmed as President Elect of the Royal Society

One of the most prestigious scientific organisations in the UK has confirmed Indian born Nobel laureate Professor Sir Venki Ramakrishnan as their President Elect.

The Royal Society, whose purpose is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and the use of science for the benefit of humanity attracts some of the most distinguished scientists, engineers and medical professionals in its membership.

The Royal Society reports on its website that a result of a ballot of the Fellowship was confirmed at a meeting of the Society’s Council. Professor Ramakrishnan will take up the post of President on 1 December 2015.

He told BBC News that he was “very honoured” to be the society’s president elect. "I feel very touched that the Royal Society has chosen me for this job," Prof Ramakrishnan said, "especially because I only came to Britain 16 years ago from the US."

The position is one of the most important in British science. The Royal Society has existed since 1660 and its president is a key advocate for science in the UK and the world.

Professor Ramakrishnan is currently Deputy Director of the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology (LMB) and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has a B.Sc in physics from Baroda University, India and a PhD from Ohio University in the USA. He studied biology at the University of California, San Diego and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University. Subsequently, he was a biophysicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah before he moved to the UK in 1999. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003, and is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina (the German Science Academy) and a Foreign Member of the Indian National Science Academy.

Professor Ramakrishnan studies how genetic information is translated by the ribosome to make proteins, and the action of antibiotics on this process. He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath and was awarded a knighthood in 2012.

There have been 60 Presidents of the Royal Society since it was founded in 1660. Previous Presidents of the Royal Society have included Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, and Ernest Rutherford.

Further Information at Royal Society website and BBC News

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