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    Nobel Prize-winning UC San Diego professor Roger Tsien dies at 64

    Roger Tsien, a biochemist at the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) who earned a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2008 for his work on green fluorescent protein, died last week (August 24) in Oregon. He was 64.

    Tsien is best known for his work on green fluorescent protein (GFP), derived from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, as a new and soon-indispensable research tool. He further expanded fluorescent labeling into different colors, and even the infrared. By working to understand the mechanisms behind GFP's florescence, Tsien has developed several related proteins that glow in virtually all the colors of the rainbow,”. In 2008, he shared the Nobel price with Shimomura, PhD, an emeritus professor at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. and Martin Chalfie, PhD, a professor of biological sciences at Columbia University, on their contributions to the development of fluorescent proteins that literally illuminated science.Tsien and his colleagues later designed a technique to visualize fluorescent proteins using electron microscopy.
    GFPs have become a fundamental fixture in life sciences labs around the world, allowing researchers to look into cells or whole animals, to watch molecules interact in real-time and ask questions once thought impossible.
    “Every honor was justly deserved, and always received with humility,” said Pradeep Khosla, chancellor of UC San Diego. “Roger was an extraordinary man: kind, generous, gracious, and always the consummate scientist pushing the limits of his work to expand the possibilities of science. He was a rare talent we cannot replace.”
    Born in New York City, Tsien began sketching chemistry experiments when he was 8 years old, according to the university, and earned his first Boy Scout merit badge in chemistry. He took degrees from Harvard and Cambridge. "He was ahead of us all," Tsien's wife, Wendy, said in the university statement. "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."