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India-born Nobel Prize winning biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. (Mint)
India-born Nobel Prize winning biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. (Mint)

How Venkatraman Ramakrishnan reacted when he got a call for Nobel Prize

An Instagram post shared by the Nobel Prize organisation recalls the day when Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was informed that he had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

UK-based India-born Nobel Prize winning biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was definitely not in a good mood the day he received a phone call from Stockholm, informing him that he had won the esteemed Nobel Prize. In fact, he thought it to be a prank. An Instagram post shared by the Nobel Prize organisation recalls the day when the 68-year-old leading scientist was informed that he had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

"In October 11 years ago, Ramakrishnan was in a bad mood as his day had not started well," reads the post. "His bike had gotten a flat tyre on his way to work which caused him to arrive late to his office at the University of Cambridge."

Just as he arrived at the office the telephone rang. "This is an important phone call from Stockholm - please hold." Ramakrishnan answered angrily, "Whoever put you up to this - I don't believe you!"

Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize with Thomas Steitz and Ada Yonath,
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Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize with Thomas Steitz and Ada Yonath,

"He remained dubious even as the general secretary tried to convince him that the news was true. Ramakrishnan refused to believe it until he got to speak with the committee member Måns Ehrenberg (who he had met before) that he believed it," the post read.

Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize with Thomas Steitz of the Yale University and Ada Yonath of the Jerusalem-based Weizmann Institute of Science for discovering the precise structure of ribosomes - the molecular machines that manufacture proteins inside all living cells.


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