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Fellows Directory

Hans Kornberg

Hans Kornberg

Sir Hans Kornberg FRS


Elected: 1965


Hans Kornberg was a biochemist whose main achievements were elucidation of the mechanisms and regulation of several metabolic sequences, the discovery of the glyoxylate cycle and recognition of anaplerotic processes. At the age of 11, Hans moved to England, a refugee of Nazi Germany. He was educated at various boarding schools and at the University of Sheffield, from which he graduated with BSc and PhD degrees.

After seven years of postdoctoral research in the United States and at the University of Oxford, he served successively as Professor of Biochemistry at the universities of Leicester (1960–1975) and Cambridge (1975–1995). From 1982–1995, he was also Master of Christ’s College, Cambridge. Later in life, he was a University Professor and Professor of Biology at Boston University.

Hans was knighted in 1978 and received 11 honorary doctorates, as well as membership or honorary memberships of many national academies and professional scientific societies. He was awarded the UK Biochemical Society’s Colworth Medal and the Warburg Medal of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Sir Hans Kornberg FRS died on 16 December 2019.

Professional positions

University Professor and Professor of Biology, Boston University

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Other
    • Public understanding of science
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Cellular pathology


Anaplerotic sequences, carbohydrate transport, microbial metabolism


  • Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture

    On 'Carbohydrate transport by micro-organisms'.

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