Shimomura, Osamu

Shimomura, Osamu,

1928–2018, Japanese organic chemist and marine biologist, Ph.D. Nagoya Univ., 1960. Shimomura was a researcher at Princeton (1960–82) and a professor (1982–2001) simultaneously at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass., and Boston Univ. School of Medicine. In 2008 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Martin ChalfieChalfie, Martin,
1947–, American biologist, b. Chicago, Ph.D. Harvard, 1977. In 1982 Chalfie joined the faculty at Columbia, where he is now the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Biological Sciences.
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 and Roger TsienTsien, Roger Yonchien,
1952–2016, American biochemist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1977. Tsien was a researcher at Cambridge (1977–81) and a professor at the Univ. of California, Berkeley (1982–89) before he became a professor at the Univ.
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 for their discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Shimomura is credited with being the first to isolate GFP (from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria) and to discover that the protein glows bright green under ultraviolet light. The gene that produces GFP was subsequently identified by Douglas Prasher, and clones of the gene he made were used by Chalfie and Tsien in their work. GFP's use as a biological marker for particular characteristics has made it one of the most important tools in contemporary bioscience.