Roger Kornberg
  • 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry


Winzer Professor in Medicine, Stanford University
He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the "molecular basis of the transcription of eukaryotes".

Education and Work Experience

1972, Ph.D. from Stanford University.
1976-1978, Assistant Professor of the Department of Biological Chemistry of Harvard Medical School.
1978-Present, Professor of the Department of structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Honors and Awards

1993, Member of National Academy of Sciences of the United States
1999, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2001, Welch Awarder, the highest prize in the American chemical industry
2006, Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Major Academic Achievements

Professor Kornberg discovered that the nucleosome, the basic unit of chromosomal DNA organization in the eukaryotic nucleus. He and Prof. Yahli Lorch showed that the nucleosome on a promoter prevents the initiation of DNA transcription, establishing the role of the nucleosome as a gene repressor, fundamental to the new field of epigenetics. Professor Kornberg solved the three-dimensional structure of RNA polymerase by, X-ray diffraction, both alone and in the form of an actively transcribing complex, containing gene DNA and product RNA. Professor Kornberg discovered the molecular basis for the regulation of transcription by gene activator and repressor proteins. His research laid a foundation for understanding the differentiation of stem cells and the mechanisms of human diseases and other important medical problems.