Roger Y. Tsien
Born: 1 February 1952, New York, NY, USA
Died: 24 August 2016, Eugene, OR, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, San Diego, CA, USA, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Prize motivation: "for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP"
Prize share: 1/3
Some organisms produce what has been named Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), which emits a shimmering light. The formation of GFP is regulated by a gene that can be incorporated into the genomes of other organisms. Because GFP can be linked to other proteins thanks to genetic engineering, it has become an important tool for studying biological processes in cells. During the 1990s, Roger Y. Tsien elucidated how GFP produces its shimmering light and succeeded in varying the color of the light so that different proteins and multiple, simultaneous biological processes could be tracked.