Kornberg, Roger David

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Roger David Kornberg, 1947–, American biochemist, b. St. Louis, Mo., Ph.D. Stanford, 1972; son of Arthur Kornberg. Kornberg held academic posts at Cambridge (1972–76) and Harvard (1976–78) before he became a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine in 1978. Kornberg was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription. He described the process of transcription, which transfers genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA and makes it available for use by the body, and created crystallographic pictures that showed the process in detail. Problems in the transcription process are at the root of many illnesses including cancer, heart disease, and various inflammatory disorders.