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Meet the Expert: Prof. Roger Kornberg

Roger Kornberg is an American biochemist and professor of Structural Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 for his studies concerning how the information stored in genes is copied, and then transferred to those parts of the cells that produce proteins. Kornberg was the first to create an actual picture of this process at the molecular level. Kronberg has collaborated with many industrial companies including Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd, ChromaDex Corporation, and Pacific Biosciences. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Stanford University and a BA in Chemistry from Harvard University. Roger humbly explains his role in the Nobel Prize and shares with us the biggest challenges he sees today for our planet.

      30 May 2021

1. What does the Nobel Prize in Chemistry mean to you?


The Prize is (should be viewed by all recipients as) a call to public service. It represents not just an opportunity but an obligation to advocate for science and for social good.



2. What do you think is the biggest challenge we are facing today?


Climate change



3. How can chemistry help restore our planet?


Chemistry can contribute technologies for mitigation and even remediation of the effects of global warming. Chemists must advocate for the political action required to implement these technologies.



4. As a distinguished chemist, what advice/message would you give to people that do not have the same scientific background?


Trust the consensus view of scientific experts.



5. Were you ever skeptical about UBQ™ material? If so, when and how did this change?


I understood the basis for the UBQ process when it was explained to me at the outset and I never doubted the validity or the values.



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