Roger D. Kornberg

Roger David Kornberg ( born April 24, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American biochemist and professor of structural biology at Stanford University Medical School. In 2006 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.


Kornberg is the oldest of three children, the biochemist Sylvy and Arthur Kornberg, Nobel Prize winner for medicine. In 1967, he graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Science degree, and then go for his doctorate to Stanford, which he completed in 1972. Kornberg then went to a postdoc to Cambridge. In 1976 he was Assistant Professor (about: dt Assistant Professor ) at Harvard Medical School and returned back in 1978 for a professorship in structural biology to Stanford.

In 2010 he was appointed to the management of the Russian innovation center at Skolkovo.

Scientific Work

Roger D. Kornberg in 2006 for his work on the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription, which is the complementary copy of the genetic information from the nucleus to the ribonucleic acids, awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Specifically, it is in his research the enzyme RNA polymerase, that catalyzes the synthesis of ribonucleic acids. The structure and the exact mechanism of action of this enzyme complex was thereby decrypt among others by the German Professor Patrick Cramer during his time as a postdoc in Kornberg's lab.

Kornberg came across the problems of eukaryotic transcription, as when Francis Crick and Aaron Klug, he worked at the University of Cambridge in England in the early 70s.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2006 got his colleague at Stanford University Medical School, Professor Andrew Z. Fire, for research in the field of expression and repression of genes.