Erwin Neher
  • 1991 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine


German biophycicist. Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and Professor Emeritus at the University of Göttingen. In 1991, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Bert Sakmann for “their discoveries concerning the function of single ion channels in cells."

Education and Work Experience

1967-1971, Doctoral work at the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Psychiatry and the Technical University of Munich
1972-1983, Postdoctoral at the Max-Planck-Institute for biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany
1983-Present, Director of the Membrane Biophysics Department at the MPI in Gottingen, Germany

Honors and Awards

1989, Foreign Member of the United States of the National Academy of Sciences
1991, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
1994, Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS)

Major Academic Achievements

Neher and Sakmann were the first to record the currents of single ion channels in living cells through their development of the patch-clamp technique. Erwin Neher subsequently developed several methods to study the release of hormones and neurotransmitters on the single-cell level, revealing mechanistic and molecular details of catecholamine release from adrenal chromaffin cells and short-term synaptic plasticity.