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Roger Y. Tsien

AKA Roger Yonchien Tsien

Born: 1-Feb-1952
Birthplace: New York City

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Green Fluorescent Protein

Molecular engineer Roger Y. Tsien has studied and genetically modified Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), the "glowing proteins" that make some jellyfish and corals luminous. He engineered colorful and fluorescent dyes that have allowed cellular biologists and neurobiologists to follow the flow and behavior of molecules, work which won Tsien the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008. He has said he decided on a career in science when he was 9 or 10 years old, and he won first prize in a Westinghouse Talent Search when he was 16 years of age, for a project which demonstrated how metals bind to thiocyanate.

He was a co-founder of Aurora Biosciences Corporation, later absorbed into Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and of Senomyx, a company which licenses GFP for applications in flavorings and fragrances. He is a direct descendant of Qian Liu, a tenth century Wuyue emperor whose territory was later subsumed into China. Tsien's father was a cousin of Tsien Hsue-shen, a founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and early leader of the modern Chinese space program.

Father: Hsue Chu (mechanical engineer)
Mother: Yi Ying Li T
Wife: Wendy Globe Tsien (m. 30-Jul-1982)

    High School: Livingston High School, Livingston, NJ
    University: BS Chemistry, Harvard University (1972)
    University: BS Physics, Harvard University (1972)
    University: PhD Physiology, Cambridge University (1977)
    Teacher: Physiology, Cambridge University (1977-81)
    Teacher: Biochemistry, University of California at Berkeley (1981-85)
    Professor: Biochemistry, University of California at Berkeley (1985-89)
    Professor: Pharmacology, University of California at San Diego (1989-)
    Professor: Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California at San Diego (1989-)

    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2008 (with Martin Chalfie and Osamu Shimomura)
    Wolf Prize in Medicine 2004 (with Robert A. Weinberg)
    Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics 2002
    Artois-Baillet-Latour Health Prize 1995
    Gairdner Award 1995
    Spencer Award in Neurobiology 1991
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Co-Founder of Aurora Biosciences Corporation (1996)
    Senomyx Co-Founder (1998)
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1989-)
    Institute of Medicine
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    National Academy of Sciences 1998
    Royal Society Foreign fellow
    Phi Beta Kappa Society
    Chinese Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Asthma


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