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    Stanford University biochemist to co-chair Kremlin's 'Silicon Valley'

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    Nobel laureate Roger David Kornberg, a U.S. biochemist and professor of structural biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, will co-chair the scientific-technical council of the Russian "Silicon Valley," Skolkovo, the first deputy head of the presidential administration said

    Nobel laureate Roger David Kornberg, a U.S. biochemist and professor of structural biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, will co-chair the scientific-technical council of the Russian "Silicon Valley," Skolkovo, the first deputy head of the presidential administration said.

    "This is a big honor for Russia," Vladislav Surkov said, who also heads the Skolkovo project working group.

    In March 2006, the Russian government approved a program to create technoparks to incorporate high-tech enterprises in the sectors of nano- and bio- information, and other types of technology, as well as scientific research organizations, educational institutions and other related ventures.

    Zhores Alferov, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000, will become a scientific adviser to the high-tech business park and will co-chair the scientific council overseeing the project alongside foreign experts.

    Surkov said that Alferov had proposed Kornberg's candidacy for the post.

    Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 for his studies on the process where genetic information from DNA is copied to RNA, "the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription."

    "Kornberg's research lies at a junction of chemistry, genetics, and biology, and therefore Alferov's proposal to invite Kornberg to work on the project was logical since one of directions of modernizing the Russian economy, which was determined by Russian President [Dmitry Medvedev], is a development of biomedical technologies," Surkov said.

    Russian business tycoon Viktor Vekselberg was chosen to coordinate the project.

    The high-tech research and production hub is being built from scratch in the Moscow Region town of Skolkovo. It is planned that some 4.6 billion rubles ($158 mln) will be allocated for the valley's construction in 2010.

    The new center's activities will focus on five priority spheres: energy, information technologies, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technologies.

    Despite the fact that Russia's answer to the Silicon Valley is still in the planning stages, interest is such that some leading companies have already begun looking for new employees.

    MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti)

     

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