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05 October, 2006

HU Congratulates Visiting Prof. Roger D. Kornberg For Winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2006

Prof. Roger D. Kornberg receiving his honorary doctorate at the Hebrew University in 2001. (Photo: Hezi Hojesta)
Prof. Roger D. Kornberg receiving his honorary doctorate at the Hebrew University in 2001. (Photo: Hezi Hojesta)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has extended its congratulations to Prof. Roger Kornberg, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2006.

Prof. Kornberg is a fellow in the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University and has been a visiting professor at the university for the past 20 years.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced its decision this week to award Prof. Kornberg the Nobel Prize for ''his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription''.

Prof. Kornberg is a professor of structural biology at Stanford University. However, he has been a visiting professor at the Hebrew University since 1986, where he teaches and conducts research in the Department of Biological Chemistry for four months every year.

Prof. Kornberg joins a distinguished list of Hebrew University-affiliated scholars who have won Nobel prizes in the past few years. Prof. Robert J. Aumann of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Mathematics and Center for the Study of Rationality received the Nobel Prize in economics last year. Prof. Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University and the Hebrew University’s Center for the Study of Rationality, also won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002. Three others, all graduates of the Hebrew University, won Nobel Prizes in 2004. They are: Prof. Avram Hershko and Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, winners of the prize in chemistry, and Prof. David J. Gross, winner of the prize in physics.

Hebrew University president, Prof. Menachem Magidor said, ''We are very proud and congratulate Prof. Kornberg, who has been working with us for many years. We are honored that Prof. Kornberg and other leading scientists from around the world view the Hebrew University as an attractive academic institution at which to conduct their research.''

Prof. Haim Rabinowitch, rector of the Hebrew University, added, “We are delighted over the recognition of Prof. Kornberg’s work in uncovering one of the secrets of life and congratulate him on his success. It has been our good fortune to have benefited from his cooperation of many years in teaching and research at our Institute of Life Sciences at the Faculty of Science.”
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According to The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Prof. Kornberg was the first to create an actual picture of how transcription works at a molecular level in the important group of organisms called eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have a well-defined nucleus). Transcription is necessary for all life. Disturbances in the transcription process are involved in many human illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

Kornberg's pictures are so detailed that separate atoms can be distinguished, and this makes it possible to understand the mechanisms of transcription and how it is regulated.

Kornberg, who was born in St. Louis in 1947, is the recipient of many prizes for his work in the field of chemistry. In 2001, he received an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University.



Downloadable File: kornbergnobel.doc

 

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