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    Nobel laureate Roger Kornberg becomes an honorary doctor of Samara University – a Project 5-100 university

    By Project 5-100

    Roger David Kornberg, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, a renowned American biochemist, professor at Stanford University and co-chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation Advisory Council, has been awarded the title of honorary doctor of Samara National Research University, Russian Academic Excellence Project participant.

    He joins 26 other Nobel laureates who, at various times, have been graduates or employees at Project 5-100 universities.

    The award ceremony was held on Monday at the university campus. “It is a very significant event for our university. Nobel prize winner Professor Kornberg is a real star in our roster of honorary doctors. I hope that we will have a very fruitful collaboration,” said the rector of Samara University, Evgeny Shakhmatov at the ceremony.

    “It is indeed a privilege to join the very special group to whom you have confirmed such degrees in the past, and I will, I hope, wear the mantle that you have conferred on me in the manner that you would wish and promote the reputation and the success of your great university in the future,” said Roger David Kornberg in response. After the ceremony, he gave a lecture on the fight against diseases associated with DNA mutations.

    The university’s history is inextricably linked to the development of professional education and national science and technology. It is currently one of Russia’s top universities for training highly qualified staff for the aviation, space, and other high-tech industries of the economy.

    In Samara, the renowned scientist took part in the work of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Skolkovo Foundation, which met at Samara University. According to Shakhmatov, Samara University has for a long time been working with the Skolkovo Foundation – to provide training and professional development for staff, and on joint scientific projects. “We especially welcome projects associated with the development of fundamental science and the space industry,” Shakhmatov told TASS.

    Roger D. Kornberg is a second-generation Nobel prize winner – his father, Arthur Kornberg received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1959) for his studies of how genetic information is transferred from one DNA-molecule to another. Kornberg senior had described how genetic information is transferred from a mother cell to its daughters. Roger Kornberg won the Nobel Prize almost half a century later – in 2006 – for his research on the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.

    Roger Kornberg earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvard University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Stanford in 1972. He studied chemistry at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and later completed his PhD in chemical physics at Stanford University, California, in 1972. After spending time at Cambridge, England, and at Harvard Medical School, he returned to Stanford in 1978, where he carried out the research that led to his Nobel Prize.

    Dr. Kornberg is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Winzer Professor of Medicine in the Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University.


    Starting from 2013, Russia has been implementing Project 5-100, – a state support program for Russian universities. Its goal is to raise the standing of Russian higher education and have at least five member universities in the top-100 of three respected world rankings. Project 5-100 is enabling 21 Russian universities to move forward in terms of effectively strengthening their education and research, promoting innovations and R&D, facilitating international cooperation, streamlining administration, balancing the authority of the management and academics, nurturing a proactive academic environment, increasing internationalization, providing sufficient incentives for attracting the top professors from around the world and also for the existing faculty’s professional growth.

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