Nobel laureate Chalfie to speak

Jan. 18, 2010 12:03 p.m.

Martin Chalfie, chair and professor of biological sciences at Columbia University, will discuss the work that earned him a share of the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in McCosh 10.

The lecture is titled "Green Fluorescent Protein: Lighting Up Life." Chalfie shared the Nobel with former Princeton researcher Osamu Shimomura and Roger Tsien of the University of California-San Diego for their work with green fluorescent protein (GFP), a key tool of contemporary bioscience.

Chalfie was honored by the Nobel committee for demonstrating the value of GFP as a luminous genetic tag for various biological phenomena. GFP has become a fundamental tool in cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, neurobiology and the medical sciences. It has permitted scientists to study damaged cells in Alzheimer's disease, cancer and genetic disorders, and also has many applications in industry. Shimomura discovered the protein in jellyfish in his Princeton lab in 1961.

The talk is designated as a Louis Clark Vanuxem Lecture sponsored by the University Public Lecture Series.