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Vol. LX, No. 21
October 17, 2008

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Nobel Laureate Kornberg To Give Stetten Lecture, Oct. 29

  Dr. Roger Kornberg  
  Dr. Roger Kornberg  

In 2006, nearly 5 decades after seeing his father, Dr. Arthur Kornberg, awarded the Nobel Prize, Dr. Roger Kornberg returned to Stockholm to claim his own Nobel medal. Arthur received the highest prize in science for studying how DNA is copied, while the younger Kornberg earned the honor for his studies that clarified how DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA.

Roger Kornberg has long pursued a complete understanding of the mechanism and regulation of transcription, the process of copying genes in order to make proteins. Through 30 years of persistent effort, he has identified the components and configuration of the large assembly of proteins that carry out transcription in eukaryotic cells and how the protein assembly interacts with gene regulatory regions. In the course of these studies, Kornberg has developed new technologies to visualize the molecules involved. His solution of the three-dimensional structure of RNA polymerase in 2001 represented one of the most complex crystallographic structures ever determined. Since then, he and his research team have gone on to create highly detailed snapshots of transcription in action.

Kornberg will discuss his work on the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription at this year’s DeWitt Stetten, Jr. Lecture. The talk, which is part of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series and is sponsored by NIGMS, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

Kornberg is a professor of structural biology and the Mrs. George A. Winzer professor in medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has been a faculty member since 1978. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1967 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University in 1972. Kornberg was a postdoctoral fellow and a member of the scientific staff at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, where he contributed to the discovery of the nucleosome, the basic unit of DNA packaging in chromosomes.

Kornberg was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. His many honors include the 2001 Welch Award in Chemistry, the highest award in the discipline in the United States, and the 2002 Charles Léopold Mayer Prize from the French Academy of Sciences, France’s highest award in the biomedical sciences. Kornberg was the sole recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry. He is an author of more than 220 research papers.

NIGMS has supported Kornberg’s research since 1986.

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Michele Sherwood at (301) 594-6747. NIHRecord Icon

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