Nobel Laureate Sir Venkatraman (Venki) Ramakrishnan has been confirmed as the President Elect of the Royal Society. Sir Venki will take up the post as of 1 December 2015.

Sir Venki’s research focuses on how genetic information is translated by the ribosome to make proteins, and the action of antibiotics on this process. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath, and was awarded a knighthood in 2012.

Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association said, “The British Science Association warmly congratulates Sir Venki Ramakrishnan on his election. The President of the Royal Society often acts as a bridge between science and the rest of society, and someone with Venki's credentials is in a great position to step into that role. 

“The UK needs someone who can reflect the needs of society and the public back to the scientific establishment; we hope that he can continue in the tradition of people like Lord Rees and Sir Paul Nurse of being a provocateur as well as an ambassador.”

Sir Venki is currently Deputy Director of the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology (LMB) and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has a BSc 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.

The Royal Society has had 60 presidents since it was founded in 1660, previous presidents include Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy and Ernest Rutherford.