Nobel Prize 2006: Roger D. Korberg

By Natalie Seeman and Kelly Lee

Background on Roger Kornberg

  • Date of Birth: April 24th, 1947
  • Place of Birth: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  • Education: Stanford University (1972), Harvard University (1967)
  • Place of work when awarded the prize: professor of structural biology at Stanford Medical School
  • Scientific Feild- Structual biology
  • Interesting Facts- His parents were both biochemists. His father won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1959. Won prize "for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription".

What did he do?

  • Eukaryotic organisms store their genetic material inside cells nucleus. Transcription is the mechanism by which a DNA template is converted (transcribed) into an RNA message.
  • Kornberg was the first person to make an actual image of transcription occurring in eukaryotic organisms, which is essential for our body to produce proteins.
  • He did this by using x-Ray crystallography, which shows the structure of large molecules such as proteins.
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Why did he win?

  • His findings created a better understanding of the process of transcription of dna and rna and the complications it can have that can lead to diseases and defects.
  • "His work has deepened our understanding of the message of life and how it contributes to both normal and abnormal human development health and disease" - Philip Pizzo


"Roger D. Kornberg Polymerase, DNA, RNA, and Transcription." Roger D. Kornberg Polymerase, DNA, RNA, and Transcription. US Department of Energy, 23 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

Conger, By Krista, and Krista Conger. “Roger Kornberg Wins the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.” Stanford University, Stanford University, 4 Oct. 2006,