Richard Winyu Tsien (born 3 March 1945) is a noted American neurobiologist (or neuroscientist). Tsien has received many honours and awards.
Richard Tsien was born in Tating, Kweichow, China. He is the eldest of three brothers. Tsien's youngest brother Roger Y. Tsien, a cell biologist, won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is a descendant of the King Wuyue Tsien Liu. He is the son of Hsue-Chu Tsien, a famous aeronautical mechanic who became the chief engineer for Boeing.
Soon after his birth, Tsien's family moved to the United States. Tsien received BS in 1965 and MS in 1966 both in electrical engineering and both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tsien then won the Rhodes Scholarship and studied in the United Kingdom at Wadham College, Oxford from 1966 to 1969. Tsien obtained PhD in biophysics from Oxford in 1970.
From 1968 to 1970, Tsien was a Weir Junior Research Fellow at University College, Oxford. From 1969 to 1970, Tsien was a teaching fellow at Balliol College, Oxford.
In 1970, Tsien went back to the United States, became an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at Yale University School of Medicine from 1970 to 1974. From 1974 to 1979, Tsien was an associate professor in the same department, and promoted to full professor in 1979 until 1988.
In 1988, Tsien went to Stanford and founded the Stanford University Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, where he also served the first chairman. From 1991 to 2001, Tsien was the Director Silvio Conte - National Institutes of Mental Health Center for Neuroscience Research. Since 1988, Tsien has been the George D. Smith Professor of Stanford Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. And since 2000, Tsien has been the Co-Director for the Stanford Brain Research Centre.
Tsien did important work on calcium channels, their mechanisms and roles in cell signaling pathways. Tsien's research also helps us understand the long-term plasticity of synapses.
From 1987 to 1988, Tsien was the President of the Society of General Physiologists. In August 2000, Tsien also served the Section Chair of Neurobiology of the United States National Academy of Sciences.
- 1985 - Kenneth S. Cole Award (for contributions to membrane biophysics)
- 1991 - 1995, 1999, Kaiser Award for Outstanding and Innovative Teaching, from Stanford University
- 1993 - Magnes Prize, from Hebrew University, Jerusalem
- 1994 - elected to the United States Institute of Medicine
- 1996 - Walter B. Cannon Memorial Award, from the American Physiological Society
- 1996 - elected to the Academia Sinica
- 1997 - elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences
- 1998 - elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- 1999 - elected Charter to the Biophysical Society