Venkatraman Ramakrishnan’s career choice gets him the Nobel

Instead of pursuing a career in scientific research, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize [ Images ] in chemistry with two others, would perhaps have practised medicine, but for a sudden impromptu trip of his father. 

More than four decades ago, Venkatraman, then a Baroda resident, got the national talent award after finishing his high school. Venkatraman, known as Venky to his friends and colleagues, also got admission at the Baroda Medical College.  

His parents, father  C V Ramakrishnan and mother Rajalakshmi, themselves scientists, wanted their son to take up medicine, not science. 

“You know what, this kid refused to study medicine. When I had gone out of Baroda for some work, my son quietly went to Baroda University, instead of the medical college, to enroll himself in undergraduate studies in physics,” senior Ramakrishnan, who now lives in Seattle, recalled as he spoke with  

The parents, however, did not push him to become a doctor, though the senior believes Venky would have obliged if they did. 

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