The TNQ Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences – 2020

Featured Speaker - Dr Venki Ramakrishnan

Lecture - “My Adventures in the Ribosome”

Bengaluru:

January 18, 2020, 4.30 p.m. JN Tata Auditorium, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Campus.

Mumbai:

January 20, 2020, 4.30 p.m. Homi Bhabha Auditorium, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Campus.

Chennai:

January 22, 2020, 6.00 p.m. Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao (Lady Andal) Concert Hall, Chetpet

New Delhi:

January 24, 2020, 4.30 p.m. Jawaharlal Auditorium, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Campus


Nobel Laureate Dr Venki Ramakrishnan is the Tenth Edition Speaker of the TNQ Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences

Dr Venki Ramakrishnan, the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and currently the 62nd President of The Royal Society, is the 2020 Speaker of the TNQ Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences. This will be the tenth edition of this lecture series.

The topic of Venki Ramakrishnan’s lectures is:
‘My Adventures in the Ribosome’

Dr Ramakrishnan will be giving lectures in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi in January 2020.

Admission to the lectures is free and open to all.

Venki Ramakrishnan was born in India, where he got his bachelor’s degree in physics from Baroda University. He moved to the USA in 1971 and received his Ph.D. in physics from Ohio University in 1976. By this time, however, Dr Ramakrishnan had become interested in biology. He therefore went to graduate school again, to study biology at the University of California, San Diego. In 1978, he began post-doctoral work with Peter Moore at Yale University, where he first began working on ribosomes — the large molecular machines in all cells that read instructions in our genes to make proteins. From 1983-95 he was a staff scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory before becoming a professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah. In 1999, he moved to his current position as a group leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.

After working on components of the ribosome for 15 years, Ramakrishnan’s lab began researching the structure of the entire 30S subunit of the ribosome in the mid-1990s. In 2000, his laboratory determined the atomic structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit and its complexes with ligands and antibiotics. This work has led to insights into how the ribosome “reads” the genetic code, as well as into various aspects of antibiotic function. In the last few years, Dr Ramakrishnan’s lab has determined the high-resolution structures of functional complexes of the entire ribosome at various stages along the translational pathway, which has led to insights into its role in protein synthesis during decoding, peptidyl transfer, translocation, and termination.

More recently his laboratory has been applying cryo-electron microscopy to study eukaryotic and mitochondrial translation. From 1983-1998, Dr Ramakrishnan’s lab also worked on chromatin structure, determining the structure of the linker histone H1/H5, its location in the 30 nm chromatin filament, and the first structure of a histone modifying enzyme, the acetyl-transferase Hat1. He has also made contributions to methods for phasing crystallographic data using multiwavelength anomalous scattering.

Venki Ramakrishnan is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Venki Ramakrishnan is also the author of Gene Machine, a popular book on the quest for the structure of the ribosome.

Awards and Honours

  • 1991 Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 2002 Member of EMBO, elected
  • 2003 Fellow of the Royal Society, elected
  • 2004 Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, elected
  • 2007 Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine
  • 2007 Datta Medal and Lecture, FEBS Annual Meeting, Vienna
  • 2008 Heatley Medal, British Biochemical Society
  • 2008 Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge, elected
  • 2009 Foreign Member, Indian National Science Academy, elected
  • 2009 Rolf- Guest Professorship, University of Frankfurt
  • 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (shared with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath)
  • 2012 Sir Hans Krebs Medal and lecture, FEBS Annual Meeting, Seville
  • 2014 Jimenez Dí az Prize Lecture, Madrid
  • 2015 President of the Royal Society

Lecture Schedule

Date, Time, and Venue Introduction
Bengaluru:

January 18, 2020, 4.30 p.m.
JN Tata Auditorium
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Campus

Professor P Balaram

Former Director
Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

Mumbai:

January 20, 2020, 4.30 p.m.
Homi Bhabha Auditorium
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Campus

Professor Sandip Trivedi

Director
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

Chennai:

January 22, 2020, 6.00 p.m.
Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao (Lady Andal)
Concert Hall, Chetpet

N. Ram

Chairman & Publisher
The Hindu Group of Publications

New Delhi:

January 24, 2020, 4.30 p.m.
Jawaharlal Auditorium
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Campus

Professor K. VijayRaghavan

Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA)
Government of India

The TNQ Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences

Established in 2008, the lectureship series is sponsored by TNQ Technologies. The annual event aims to bring internationally renowned scientists face-to-face with the Indian scientific community.

Previous Speakers:

  • 2008: David Baltimore, President Emeritus and Robert Andrew Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Howard Temin and Renato Dulbecco for their work on viruses and cancer.
  • 2009: Elizabeth Blackburn, former President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for their research on telomeres.
  • 2012: Shinya Yamanaka, an adult stem cell researcher with Kyoto University and UCSF. He and John Gurdon were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells.
  • 2014: Huda Y. Zoghbi, Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr Zoghbi is known for her study of Rett syndrome and spinocerebellar ataxias. She was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in 2017.
  • 2015: Eric S. Lander, a mathematician-turned-biologist-turned-geneticist, who is President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He was awarded the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in 2013.
  • 2016: Karl Deisseroth, a Stanford University neuroscientist and psychologist who pioneered the groundbreaking technique known as optogenetics, which has revolutionized our ability to visualize and manipulate brain circuits. He was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in 2016.
  • 2017: Mary-Claire King, a University of Washington geneticist who pioneered the idea that breast cancer could be a heritable disease. She was awarded the 2018 Shaw Prize in Medicine.
  • 2018: Dr David J. Anderson, a California Institute of Technology neurobiologist and leader in the neurobiological foundations of emotion.
  • 2019: Helen H. Hobbs, a Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center whose discoveries inspired new approaches to the prevention of cardiovascular and liver disease. She was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in 2016.

About TNQ

Chennai-based TNQ Technologies is a publishing technology and services company founded in 1998. TNQ’s technology products and services are widely used by leading publishers of scientific, technical, and medical (STM) books and journals worldwide and through them by several million scholarly authors. They form a comprehensive suite covering authoring, manuscript submission, peer review, proofing, and paging.

Author Cafe (www.authorcafe.com), a part of this suite, is a knowledge management system supporting scientific research in India. It is used by over 10,000 students and faculty at Indian academic institutes, to create, collaborate and circulate reports, theses and dissertations.

TNQ has collaborated with Professor Ron Vale on the development of XBio, The Explorer’s Guide to Biology. XBio is a free learning resource that emphasises the problem solving nature of science. TNQ developed XBio’s custom web platform and made contributions to the project from concept to user experience, user design, technology strategy, and project management.

In 2016, TNQ announced the annual Inspiring Science Award for the best published paper in the life sciences by an author at the doctoral/post-doctoral level from India. The selection is made by an eminent jury and is announced at the lectures each year.

Today, TNQ has around 2,300 employees, almost all of them with a strong educational background in science. The company's mission is to provide the highest quality content for both print and web, using cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, and creative solutions.

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