Kornberg, Arthur, 1918–2007, American biochemist, b. Brooklyn, grad. College of the City of New York (B.S., 1937) and Univ. of Rochester (M.D., 1941). In 1942 he joined the U.S. Public Health Service and became (1951) medical director. He was a staff member (1942–52) of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. He taught at Washington Univ., St. Louis, from 1953 and was chairman (1959–69) of the department of biochemistry at Stanford, where he remained until his death. Kornberg shared the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Severo Ochoa for their work in the discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). Kornberg's discovery of polymerase, an enzyme used to synthesize nucleic acid, contributed to development of genetic engineering.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.