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Former ORNL researcher wins Nobel Prize

October 7, 2009 — One of the winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry spent the early part of his career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, or "Venki" as he was known to his colleagues, was a researcher at ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor in the early 1980s. He is currently working at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England.

A U.S. citizen, Ramakrishnan was born in India and received his Nobel Prize for work in decoding the genetic makeup of human cells.

While in Oak Ridge, he conducted neutron scattering experiments at the High Flux Isotope Reactor. The instruments today at the reactor are 100 times more powerful than when Ramakrishnan collected his data some 25 years ago.

The Nobel Committee will award Ramakrishnan and the two other winners $1.4 million dollars.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.