Nobel prizewinner for green fluorescent protein to speak at UF

The Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered how to use the green fluorescent protein molecule to test for gene expression will speak at 4 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Health Professions/Pharmacy/Nursing Complex auditorium.

Columbia University professor Martin Chalfie, Ph.D., was one of three recipients of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2008 for his work using green fluorescent protein as a luminous genetic tagging tool in cells. Chalfie was the first to use the protein to highlight cells inside the ubiquitous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to test the protein’s use as a tag.

Originally discovered in a jellyfish in 1962 by one of Chalfie’s fellow Nobel winners, Osamu Shimomura, green fluorescent protein now allows scientists to track proteins in cells and monitor the development of brain cells and the growth of tumors, among other things.

Chalfie’s talk is part of the Whitney Laboratory Lecture, an endowed lecture series sponsored by the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience board of trustees. It brings a well-known scientist to the UF College of Medicine in Gainesville to interact with students and faculty and present a lecture to that community. The guest scientist then goes to the Whitney Laboratory to meet with students and faculty there.

A reception for Chalfie will be held prior to his talk at 3 p.m. in the HPNP Reception Hall, located directly below the auditorium. All are welcome.

The Whitney Laboratory is a biomedical and biotechnology research institute at UF. It is made up of 10 different labs, which use marine organisms for basic biological research that can be applied to human health, natural resources and the environment. Whitney also provides training for future experimental biologists, educational programs for students and monthly lectures for the general public. For more information, please call Paul Linser, professor of anatomy and cell biology, entomology and biology at the Whitney Laboratory at 904-461-4036, or visit the Whitney Laboratory Web site at