Roger D. Kornberg, Ph.D.


 Roger D. Kornberg, Ph.D.

Distinguished Adjunct Professor

Principal Investigator

Institute              Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies

Research Area   Structural biochemistry
Contact Info
Nobelprizewinnerinchemistry (2006), member of National Academy of Sciences of the United States (1993), fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999), foreign member of the Royal Society (2009).

Research Interests

Prof. Roger Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2006 for his fundamental studies of the “molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription”. Roger Kornberg’s major scientific contributions include: 1. Discovery of the nucleosome in the 1970s, now commonly regarded as the basic unit of chromosome in eukaryotes. 2. Identification of the Mediator complex, a significant component of the transcription machinery in eukaryotes. 3. Determination of a series of RNA polymerase II complexes involving in transcription initiation and elongation processes.  In addition, Prof. Roger Kornberg and Dr. Yahli Lorch proposed a theory that nucleosome serves as a general transcriptional repressor in eukaryotes. In the 2000s he and his colleagues identified an essential chromatin remodeler in S. cerevisiae, termed RSC.

Selected publications:

Zhang, H. et al. Mediator structure and conformation change. Mol Cell 81, 1781-1788 e1784, doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2021.01.022 (2021).

Sanborn, A. L. et al. Simple biochemical features underlie transcriptional activation domain diversity and dynamic, fuzzy binding to Mediator. Elife10, doi:10.7554/eLife.68068 (2021).

Beel, A. J., Azubel, M., Mattei, P. J. & Kornberg, R. D. Structure of mitotic chromosomes. Mol Cell 81, 4369-4376 e4363, doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2021.08.020 (2021).

Kornberg, R. D. & Lorch, Y. Primary Role of the Nucleosome. Mol Cell 79, 371-375, doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2020.07.020 (2020).

Lorch, Y., Maier-Davis, B. & Kornberg, R. D. Histone Acetylation Inhibits RSC and Stabilizes the +1 Nucleosome. Mol Cell 72, 594-600 e592, doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2018.09.030 (2018).

Nagai, S., Davis, R. E., Mattei, P. J., Eagen, K. P. & Kornberg, R. D. Chromatin potentiates transcription. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 1536-1541, doi:10.1073/pnas.1620312114 (2017).

Eagen, K. P., Aiden, E. L. & Kornberg, R. D. Polycomb-mediated chromatin loops revealed by a subkilobase-resolution chromatin interaction map. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 8764-8769, doi:10.1073/pnas.1701291114 (2017).

Robinson, P. J. et al. Structure of a Complete Mediator-RNA Polymerase II Pre-Initiation Complex. Cell166, 1411-1422 e1416, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.08.050 (2016).

Fazal, F. M., Meng, C. A., Murakami, K., Kornberg, R. D. & Block, S. M. Real-time observation of the initiation of RNA polymerase II transcription. Nature 525, 274-277, doi:10.1038/nature14882 (2015).

Eagen, K. P., Hartl, T. A. & Kornberg, R. D. Stable Chromosome Condensation Revealed by Chromosome Conformation Capture. Cell163, 934-946, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.10.026 (2015).

Azubel, M. et al. Nanoparticle imaging. Electron microscopy of gold nanoparticles at atomic resolution. Science 345, 909-912, doi:10.1126/science.1251959 (2014).

Murakami, K. et al. Architecture of an RNA polymerase II transcription pre-initiation complex. Science342, 1238724, doi:10.1126/science.1238724 (2013).

Liu, X., Bushnell, D. A., Silva, D. A., Huang, X. & Kornberg, R. D. Initiation complex structure and promoter proofreading. Science 333, 633-637, doi:10.1126/science.1206629 (2011).

Liu, X., Bushnell, D. A. & Kornberg, R. D. Lock and key to transcription: sigma-DNA interaction. Cell 147, 1218-1219, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2011.11.033 (2011).

Wang, D. et al. Structural basis of transcription: backtracked RNA polymerase II at 3.4 angstrom resolution. Science 324, 1203-1206, doi:10.1126/science.1168729 (2009).