THIRD SCIENCE CONCLAVE: An Interaction with Nobel Laureates

An Interaction with Nobel Laureates
December 08-14, 2010
(Supported by MHRD & DST, GoI)

Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (IIIT-A) is organizing the Third Science Conclave: An interaction program of Students, Young Teachers and Scientists with Nobel Laureates and eminent national and international Academicians, Scientists, Technologists and Industrialists during 08-14 December, 2010. The objective of the Interactive Sessions is to inspire and motivate the bright students to take up studies, researches and professional research careers in Basic Sciences in order to promote the scientific developments and innovations in the country.

The Toppers of Undergraduate/Postgraduate Courses, Research Scholars and Young Teachers/Scientists who have not attended the 1st & 2nd Science Conclaves and are desirous to participate in the Third Science Conclave may contact their Institutional Heads and get their applications sponsored and mailed by September 15, 2010 to the Science Conclave Secretariat, IIIT-Allahabad on the prescribed format available at




India born scientist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009 jointly to

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Thomas A. Steitz, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Ada E. Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

“for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”

The ribosome translates the DNA code into life

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009 awards studies of one of life’s core processes: the ribosome’s translation of DNA information into life. Ribosomes produce proteins, which in turn control the chemistry in all living organisms. As ribosomes are crucial to life, they are also a major target for new antibiotics.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry awards Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath for having showed what the ribosome looks like and how it functions at the atomic level. All three have used a method called X-ray crystallography to map the position for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome.

Inside every cell in all organisms, there are DNA molecules. They contain the blueprints for how a human being, a plant or a bacterium, looks and functions. But the DNA molecule is passive. If there was nothing else, there would be no life.

The blueprints become transformed into living matter through the work of ribosomes. Based upon the information in DNA, ribosomes make proteins: oxygen-transporting haemoglobin, antibodies of the immune system, hormones such as insulin, the collagen of the skin, or enzymes that break down sugar. There are tens of thousands of proteins in the body and they all have different forms and functions. They build and control life at the chemical level.

An understanding of the ribosome’s innermost workings is important for a scientific understanding of life. This knowledge can be put to a practical and immediate use; many of today’s antibiotics cure various diseases by blocking the function of bacterial ribosomes. Without functional ribosomes, bacteria cannot survive. This is why ribosomes are such an important target for new antibiotics.

This year’s three Laureates have all generated 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome. These models are now used by scientists in order to develop new antibiotics, directly assisting the saving of lives and decreasing humanity’s suffering.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, US citizen. Born in 1952 in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Ph.D. in Physics in 1976 from Ohio University, USA. Senior Scientist and Group Leader at Structural Studies Division, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK. Curriculum Vitae

Further Details


Each year since 1951, Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine have been meeting in Lindau, Germany, to discuss major issues of importance to their fields with students from around the world. The meetings include lectures by the Nobel Laureates, round-table discussions and informal small-group meetings with the Nobel Prize winners. The DST has been sending a group of students / young researchers to these meetings, since 2001.

It is planned to send a group of Indian Students and Scientists to the 60th Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students during 27 June- 2 July 2010, which is in the Interdisciplinary areas.

Applications are invited from bright and young students and researchers in these fields of natural sciences for availing this DST-DFG award. The lectures and discussions are at a level appropriate for students/researchers in their early research careers. More details of the meeting could be seen at

Click here for more details