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It's in the genes
[Daily Edition]
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy
Date: Oct 12, 2006
Start Page: 13
Section: Features
Abstract (Document Summary)

The 59-year-old sole recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Chemistry is married to an Israeli, the father of three Hebrew- speaking Israeli children who have attended and continue to attend local schools during the family's four months a year in Jerusalem. And [Roger Kornberg] and his wife Yahli - a prominent Hebrew University graduate and Stanford geneticist in her own right (a stunning woman and daughter of the late historian and Knesset clerk Netanel Lorch) have been coming and living here every June through September for the last 20 years. He and Yahli work together in the lab. "She is my longest and closest collaborator, in every way, on a daily basis. She is a very talented scientist with a very long record of accomplishment," her admiring husband says.

"I had visited Israel many times before I met Yahli when she was doing advanced work in genetics at Stanford," he told the Post in a phone interview this week, just days after learning that he will receive the Nobel in Stockholm in two months. "I have long felt a strong affiliation to Israel, but it's another matter when you become part of the family. Yahli is from Jerusalem, so it's only natural to spend a lot of time there. It was her condition when we got married. What began as that commitment developed far beyond it. I couldn't imagine life without being in Israel."

Kornberg says his Stanford campus has been free of campaigns to divest of Israeli-related stocks or boycott research involving Israeli scientists or companies. "There is a high percentage of Jewish professors at Stanford. It isn't Europe. The boycott issue has never arisen at Stanford, and Muslims are a very small minority on our campus, unlike the UK. Boycotts of Israel are awful, atrocious, nauseating. They anger me beyond description. But even though they aren't at Stanford, you worry about the future and whether it will someday be a problem."

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