Oct 4, 2006

Crystallographer wins Nobel prize for Chemistry

news @ nature.com - Crystallography grabs chemistry Nobel - Structural determination of RNA polymerase unlocked secrets of cells.

Link to his lab, where I swiped the photos from...

This is pretty close to home. I am sure Dr. Berman, here at the PDB, will mention something about Dr. Kornberg in class tomorrow. (I am taking Biophysical Chemistry with her).

What's interesting is that we were talking about X-Ray crystallography just on Monday and she mentioned that it would be rare to see a structure win a Nobel prize. Myogobin, Haemoglobin, DNA, RNA...these are the big ones. So now Dr. Kornberg has won the Nobel for the structure plus his work on transcription. That's pretty cool.

I wonder how many more of the X-ray structure crystallographers are left to get the award. Dr. Berman, I am sure, knows this dude. She knows everyone in the field.

The award falls very much on the boundaries of where chemistry interacts with biology, she notes: "It's a perfect example of interdisciplinary research." Previous chemistry prizes have gone to crystallographers for work that some might perceive as being on the edges of chemistry — notably Dorothy Hodgkin, who was awarded the prize in 1964 for solving biochemical structures and with whom Howard worked. The divisions between the sciences are becoming much less obvious, she says.

Dr. Hodgkin above! Another name I am starting to recognize a lot. Anyway this is cool to me. Seems really close to home here at the Protein Data Bank...


  1. It all sounds fascinating knowing that there are incredible achievers resolving biochemistry mysteries which will unlock future optimism.

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