After leaving Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, he applied for a 5-year grant, didn't get it, but did get a 2-year grant. That was enough to identify the gene, but not conduct extensive research thereafter.
Dr. Chalfie and Dr. Tsien independently contacted Dr. Prasher asking about the jellyfish gene. Dr. Prasher generously shared the gene with both of them.
And they went on to win the Nobel Prize. Prasher worked for the USDA, but left. Again, he was not happy, experiencing the beginning of bouts of depression. “I was not happy with management there, so I looked for another position,” he said.
I know that circumstance personally. Prasher found work with a NASA subcontractor, liked it, but the funding ended. He stayed in Huntsville, Alabama, but his job choices were very limited.
“The amount of life science done here is very limited,” he said. The depression returned. “That’s been a serious problem off and on, but anyone who doesn’t have a job has that problem,” Dr. Prasher said. “If they don’t, there’s a problem with them. Or they’re independently wealthy.”