Martin Chalfie, University Professor and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien for his introduction of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) as a biological marker.
Chalfie was born in Chicago, Illinois, obtained both his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and did postdoctoral research with Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England. He joined the faculty of Columbia University as an Assistant Professor in 1982.
His research uses molecular, genetic and electrophysiological means to study how different types of nerve cells acquire and maintain their unique characteristics and how sensory cells respond to mechanical signals.
Chalfie is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Society. He is a past president of the Society for Developmental Biology, and has recently been elected to be the 2022 President of the American Society for Cell Biology. He is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Society for Science and the Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Chalfie joined the Society’s Board of Trustees in 2017.