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Venkatraman Ramakrishnan to Lead Royal Society

Structural biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been named the next president of the UK Royal Society, Nature News reports. He will take over from Paul Nurse at the beginning of December.

"It's a great honor," Ramakrishnan tells Nature. "Paul has been an articulate and forceful advocate for science, and I can only do my best to continue that."

Ramakrishnan won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for his work studying ribosome and how it translates nucleic acids into proteins. While he won a Nobel in chemistry, Nature notes that Ramakrishnan's doctoral work was in physics before he changed gears to move into biology. He says this "breadth is something I hope will help me."

Additionally, Ramakrishnan grew up in India and did much of his training in the United States before coming to the UK, and Nature says these international connections may also help him expand the Royal Society's connections.

"Venki embodies the cosmopolitan nature of contemporary science," says James Wilsdon, a science-policy researcher at the University of Sussex.

Currently, Ramakrishnan is serving as the deputy director of the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology.

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