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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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February 27, 2013

A Nobel Follow-Up

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Posted by Derek

Those of you who remember the Green Fluorescent Protein Nobel story will likely recall Douglas Prasher. He was the earliest discoverer of GFP, and Roger Tsien has said that he has no idea why he didn't get the Nobel as well. But Prasher, after a series of career and personal reverses, ended up driving a shuttle bus in Huntsville by the time the prize was announced.

Well, he's back in science again - and working in the Tsien lab. Here's the story, which I was very glad to read. Prasher's clearly smart and talented, and I hope that he can put all that to good use. A happy ending?

Comments (15) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: General Scientific News


1. Anon on February 27, 2013 1:06 PM writes...

About a year and a half ago Tsien announced he had cancer. He told of a very heartbreaking story where the investors in his fluorescent peptide company (or maybe it was a soon to be company, I can't remember) pulled out not because they had bad data, but because they could get a better and faster return in another investment. That investment turned out to be Zynga (the facebook game company).

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2. anchor on February 27, 2013 1:23 PM writes...

@ 1, Prof. Roger Tsien is a class act and I have heard his presentation more than once! As a true scientist and as prelude to many of his presentation, he always acknowledged Dr. Prasher seminal contribution in GFP. Certainly lot more than others who went on to win the Nobel prize!

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3. imatter on February 27, 2013 1:28 PM writes...

@2. I witnessed the same.

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4. Curious Wavefunction on February 27, 2013 2:07 PM writes...

Hooray! Doug Prasher fully deserves this resurrection. And I hope Tsien gets better.

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5. Chemjobber on February 27, 2013 2:16 PM writes...

Congratulations to Dr. Prasher.

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6. watcher on February 27, 2013 2:50 PM writes...

Great story, even though the ultimate injustice by the Nobel Committee can never be redeemed.

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7. Anonymous on February 27, 2013 5:02 PM writes...

We all know that Henry Kagan was forgotten too by the infamous Nobel committee.

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8. Anonymous on February 27, 2013 5:05 PM writes...

This is an excellent read "Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry" by Patrick Coffey. We are simply living by the standards set by our forefathers of chemistry!

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9. anon the II on February 27, 2013 5:13 PM writes...

@ 8

That's interesting. I know that guy. That's the same Pat Coffey who used to sell software. He's been around longer than I have. I didn't know he was an author, too.

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10. Curious Wavefunction on February 27, 2013 5:17 PM writes...

"Cathedrals of Science" is one of the best histories of chemistry I have read.

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11. Ted on February 27, 2013 10:41 PM writes...

That's a great story.


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12. zDNA on February 28, 2013 11:00 AM writes...

Nice guys finish last. Rebuttal?

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13. Terry on February 28, 2013 11:54 AM writes...

I worked across the bench from Shimomura (and his wife) in Frank Johnson's lab at Princeton while doing my bachelor's thesis on luminescent bacteria, occasionally helping them to slurp jellyfish into the blender. It's a shame about Prasher, but also for Johnson, who identified more luciferin-luciferase pairs than anyone, but who passed away before the prize was awarded.

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14. rg0p on February 28, 2013 2:23 PM writes...

So happy and relieved for Dr. Prasher. I wish him the very best. I literally cried when I first heard about his story and his Huntsville gig. I had always wondered why he didn't take up some sort of teaching/research faulty type position..... May be the system wasn't conducive?? Age was a factor?? Reading that Scientist answered some of that - to some extent. In any case, congrats Dr. Prasher!!

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15. Wei on March 3, 2013 3:36 PM writes...

Same happy ending happened for Sugar Man~

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