Osamu Shimomura

Marine Biological Laboratory

August 27, 1928 - October 19, 2018


Election Year: 2013
Scientific Discipline: Physiology and Pharmacology
Membership Type: International Member

Osamu Shimomura was a Distinguished Scientist in the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He was an organic chemist, specializing the chemical mechanisms of bioluminescence. Shimomura was born in 1928 in Japan, and graduated from the Nagasaki College of Pharmacy in 1951. He obtained his PhD in 1960 from Nagoya University, Japan, with his thesis on the luciferin of the ostracod Cypridina. He visited Princeton University in 1960 by Furbright travel grant to work with Prof. F.H. Johnson, and stayed there for three years as a Research Associate,. He went back to Japan in 1963, to take a position of Associate Professor in the Hydrosphere Institute, Nagoya University. In 1965, he returned to Princeton as a Research Biochemist, then was promoted to Senior Research Biochemist. In 1982, he moved to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, as a Senior Scientist, and stayed there until his retirement in 2001. In 2008, he received a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of the green fluorescent protein, GFP, together with Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien.

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