Roger Tsien (1952 – 2016)

Roger Tsien (1952 – 2016)

Author: ChemViews (Photo: Ⓒ Mario Müller)

Professor Roger Yonchien Tsien, University of California, San Diego, USA, passed away on August 24, 2016.

Professor Tsien received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 together with Osamu Shimomura and Martin Chalfie for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). GFP is used to track where and when a gene is expressed in a cell or in an organism. This can be done by fusing the respective gene with the gene for GFP and detecting the emitted light. Tsien showed that GFP could be engineered through amino acid substitutions to emit light in different colors [1].

Roger Y. Tsien was born in New York, USA. He studied chemistry and physics at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, and received his Ph.D. in physiology under the supervision of Jeremy Sanders from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 1977. Tsien remained at Cambridge for postdoctoral research from 1977 to 1981. He joined the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in 1982. In 1989, Professor Tsien moved to the University of California, San Diego, USA, where he worked as Professor of Pharmacology, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Professor Tsien received the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Invention in 2002, the Christian B. Anfinsen Award from the Protein Society in 2002, and the Wolf Prize in Medicine from the Wolf Foundation in 2004, among many other honors. Professor Tsien gave a lecture at the launch event of in Paris, France, in 2010.


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