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Fellows Directory

Roger Tsien

Roger Tsien

Professor Roger Tsien ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2006


Roger Tsien was an American Nobel Prize-winning biologist best known for his development of jellyfish-sourced fluorescent proteins that have allowed researchers to better observe molecular activities inside cells — such as the movement of calcium, or the expression of genes — in real time. His work on the green fluorescent protein saw him jointly awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

His latter work focussed on the imaging and treatment of cancer, where he helped to develop a peptide molecule that can deliver an imaging or chemotherapeutic payload into a cancer cell.

Roger received numerous awards in recognition of his seminal work, including the Award for Creative Invention of the American Chemical Society in 2002, the 2004 Wolf Prize in Medicine and the Spiers Memorial Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2010. He was a member of many prestigious scientific organisations, including the US National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Roger Tsien ForMemRS died on 24 August 2016.

Biographical Memoir

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, organic, Chemistry, inorganic, Chemistry, biological
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology, Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Pharmacology (non-clinical), Physiology incl biophysics of cells (non-clinical), Cellular neuroscience
  • Health and human sciences
    • Molecular medicine


  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    Jointly with Osamu Shimomura and Martin Chalfie for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP.

  • Wolf Prize

    In the field of medicine for his seminal contribution to the design and biological application of novel fluorescent and photolabile molecules to analyze and perturb cell signal transduction.

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