Shimomura, Osamu

Shimomura, Osamu, 1928–2018, Japanese organic chemist and marine biologist, Ph.D. Nagoya Univ., 1960. Shimomura was a researcher at Princeton (1960–82) and a professor (1982–2001) simultaneously at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass., and Boston Univ. School of Medicine. In 2008 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien for their discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Shimomura is credited with being the first to isolate GFP (from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria) and to discover that the protein glows bright green under ultraviolet light. The gene that produces GFP was subsequently identified by Douglas Prasher, and clones of the gene he made were used by Chalfie and Tsien in their work. GFP's use as a biological marker for particular characteristics has made it one of the most important tools in contemporary bioscience.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Biochemistry: Biographies