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Nobel Laureate in Chemistry to Speak at Florida Tech Feb. 19

2008 Recipient Martin Chalfie Will Discuss Green Fluorescent Protein

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Martin Chalfie, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2008, will deliver a lecture on the topic that won him the prestigious honor – green fluorescent protein – from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 in room 130 at the Olin Life Sciences Building on the Melbourne campus of Florida Institute of Technology.

The lecture, “Green Fluorescent Protein: Lighting Up Life,” is part of Florida Tech’s Institute for Biotechnology & Biomedical Science Seminar Series. Sponsored by United Therapeutics, the event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.

Chalfie is a university professor at Columbia University in New York in the field of biochemistry.

Sharing the Nobel Prize with Roger Tsien and Osamu Shimomura, Chalfie’s prize was motivated by the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), first observed in the jellyfish Aequora victoria in 1962. GFP exhibits bright green fluorescence, making the GFP gene a biosensor and reporter of gene expression. Chalfie was the first to utilize the protein as a glowing green signal for various activities studied in the millimeter-long transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the most studied organisms on the planet and the first multicellular organism to have its genome sequenced.  By connecting the gene for GFP with various genes of other proteins, Chalfie observed where and when different proteins were produced using the brilliant green light, revolutionizing cell biology.

With the aid of GFP, researchers are now able to watch processes that were previously invisible, such as cancer cell movement and brain cell formation.

A campus map is available at www.fit.edu/map. Use the dropdown menu on the left to search for the Olin Life Sciences Building.

For more information, contact Tristan Fiedler at fiedler@fit.edu or (321) 674-7723.

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