GFP: Lighting Up Life: Nobel Laureate Dr. Martin Chalfie to Address Discovery of “Green Fluorescent Protein”

April 17, 2014 12:30 pm Chemistry Dept, Research, Science Building

Dr. Chalfie Is Co-Discoverer of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)

The great American baseball player Yogi Berra once said: “You can observe a lot by watching.” Before the early 1990s, observations in the biological sciences were usually done on dead specimens that were specially prepared. These methods allowed a glimpse of what cells were doing, but they gave a very static view of life – a snapshot in time.

But the work of Dr. Martin Chalfie, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, and his team changed that. Their discovery of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and other fluorescent proteins revolutionized the biological sciences and enabled scientists to look at the inner workings of living cells. GFP is used to tell where genes are turned on, where proteins are located within tissues, and how cell activities change over time.

In 2008, Dr. Chalfie was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry, along with Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien, “for the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein, GFP.”

To deliver the 34th annual Arthur Sweeny Jr. Memorial Lecture, Lehman College’s Department of Chemistry welcomes Dr. Martin Chalfie.

Friday, April 25
5:15 p.m.
Music Building, Room 306.
Lehman College

250 Bedford Park Blvd. West
Bronx, NY 1046

Dr. Chalfie will describe the events that led to the discovery that the green fluorescent protein (GFP) could be used to track the expression and localization of proteins, thus revolutionizing modern cell biology.

Dr. Chalfie attended Harvard University, earning an undergraduate degree in biochemistry in 1969 and a Ph.D. neurobiology in 1977. In 2004, he was chosen to be part of the National Academy of Sciences. Learn more about Dr. Martin Chalfie and the Nobel Prize here.

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