Venki Ramakrishnan is a group leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. He works on the structure and function of the ribosome, an enormous molecular complex that uses genetic information in our DNA to synthesize the proteins they specify. His work also showed how many antibiotics work by blocking bacterial ribosomes, which could help to design better antibiotics. For this work, he shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. From 2015-2020, he was president of the Royal Society.

Ramakrishnan is also the author of a popular memoir, Gene Machine, a frank description of the race for the structure of the ribosome and the science and personalities involved.