【6/25/2021 】CAPA-NoVA Distinguished Chinese American Project

(Author: Laura Guo)

錢永健(Roger Yonchien Tsien)(1952 – 2016) was an American biochemist and received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP” alongside Osamu Shimomura and Martin Chalfie.[1] Their work with GFP “opened a vast set of opportunities for studying biological processes at the molecular level” because it allowed scientists to visually see how different proteins behave within a living cell in real time.

Tsien attended Harvard College on a National Merit Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and physics in 1972. He received a PhD in physiology from the University of Cambridge in 1977 and continued to research there until 1981. In 1982, he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1989, he moved to the University of California, San Diego, “as Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.”[3]

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Besides the Nobel Prize, Tsien also received numerous other honors, such as “the Wolf Prize in Medicine ‘for his seminal contribution to the design and biological application of novel fluorescent and photolabile molecules to analyze and perturb cell signal transduction’” (2004) and a becoming a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1998).[3]

Sadly, Tsien passed away suddenly in 2016. However, his memory will live on in the incredible discoveries he made during his lifetime. “He was ahead of us all,” said Tsien’s wife, Wendy. “He was ever the adventurer, the pathfinder, the free and soaring spirit. Courage, determination, creativity and resourcefulness were hallmarks of his character. He accomplished much. He will not be forgotten.”[4]

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[1] https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2008/tsien/facts/

[2] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Roger-Y-Tsien

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Y._Tsien

[4] https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/nobel_laureate_roger_tsien_dies_age_64

【Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us! 】

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