NordForsk Nordic C. elegans Researcher Network Invited to Nobel Prize Reception for 2008 Chemistry Laureate Professor Martin Chalfie

15.12.2008 – PRESS RELEASE The NordForsk supported Nordic C. elegans Researcher Network was invited to a reception for 2008 Nobel Prize Chemistry Laureate Prof. Martin Chalfie at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm on Thursday, December 11.
The network consists of 18 research groups from the Nordic Area and 65 students or researchers attended the afternoon reception which was hosted by the Karolinska Institute. Also attending the reception was 2002 Physiology or Medicine Nobel Laureate Robert Horvitz, a high school class mate of Martin Chalfie. The reception is a tradition among Nordic C. elegans research groups and has been held whenever a C. elegans worm researcher wins the Nobel Prize (2002, 2006 and 2008).

This years Chemistry prize was awarded for the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein (GFP), which the winners showed could be used to mark cells and visualize their biological processes. The worm C. elegans was the first animal to demonstrate the use of GFP. GFP is a revolutionary tool that has enabled scientists to visualize living and dying processes in cells as well as in whole animals. The advantage of GFP over previous methods is that no other chemicals or molecules are necessary for its use. The discovery has been applied to research on development, degeneration, cancer, sensory perception, drug discovery and many other areas of basic or applied research. It has also been commercialized via creation of transgenic fluorescing fish, mice, and rabbits.

The Nobel prizes in Chemistry were awarded the prior evening in a formal ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall followed by a formal banquet at the City Hall. Following the reception with the NordForsk network, the laureates prepared for an evening Banquet with the Swedish Royal Family at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

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