Nobel Prize winner Arthur Kornberg dies at age 89

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Arthur Kornberg

Stanford biochemist Arthur Kornberg, winner of the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, died on October 26, 2007 of respiratory failure. He was 89. He is survived by his third wife, Carolyn Frey Dixon.

Kornberg is best known for his discovery (with Severo Ochoa) of "the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)", including the isolation of DNA polymerase I, which led to his Nobel prize. He was the first scientist to make DNA in a test tube. He also studied pathways for synthesis of ATP and nucleotides, and he was the first to synthesize PRPP. In his later years, Kornberg studied inorganic polyphosphates.

Kornberg's son, Stanford structural biologist Roger D. Kornberg, won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work on the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.