Roger Kornberg is honored for his pioneering research in the field of transcription, a theme of central importance in the biology of eukaryotic (nucleated) cells. He is recognized primarily for his significant studies of the components involved in the regulation of gene expression. One of his key contributions has been his discovery and detailed description of the nucleosome a structural unit of packaging of chromosomes which has influenced much later work on the structure of chromatin and its role in gene regulation. Dr. Kornberg continues to work on chromatin structure and gene regulation having made many significant contributions.
Dr. Kornberg is a graduate of Harvard University and obtained his PhD at Stanford University. His postdoctoral training was in Cambridge, England, at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, where he was also later a member of the scientific staff. He went on to be a Junior Fellow at Harvard University and a member of Harvard University School of Medicine. Since 1978, he has been Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine and was chair of the Department from 1984-1992. His many societal memberships include the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his many honors and awards are the Eli Lilly Award, the Passano Award, the Ciba-Drew Award and the Harvey Prize.