He was laid off from his job at NASA, and couldn't find another job as a scientist. In order to support his family, he took a job driving a courtesy van at a Toyota dealership in Huntsville for $10 per hour
From a local story I've heard way too many times, this scientist isolated the gene which caused Jellyfish to glow in the dark.
His grants ran out and he handed over his research to 3 scientists who won the Nobel prize. The prize winners acknowledged they could not have won without his original research.
There are multiple things wrong with this story, the first being that this scientist is driving a bus. The second is why were his grants cut for this raw research and the 3rd is why was he not included in the Nobel Prize winners?
Unfortunately these stories are more common than people realize and most Professionals are too restrained as well as embarrassed to tell their stories even when they are sent to the metaphorically as well as literally....to back of the bus!
Here is an interiew with Douglas Prasher, the Scientist stiffed on not only recognition money, but his very own livelihood. Just goes to show how ethics no longer pay:
When you're using public funds, I personally believe you have an obligation to share. I put my heart and soul into it, but if I kept that stuff, it wasn't gonna go anyplace.