- 1991 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
German cell physiologist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Erwin Neher in 1991 "for their discoveries concerning the function of single ion channels in cells". He is an Emeritus Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg.
Education and Work Experience
1974, Doctor of Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Göttingen
1985, Head of the Department of Cell Physiology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry Göttingen
1989-2008, Head of the Department of Cell Physiology at the Max Planck Institute for
Medical Research Heidelberg
2008-Present, Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried
Honors and Awards
1991, Harvey Prize
1991, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
1994, Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS)
Major Academic Achievements
One of the fundamental processes of life is the transit of charged atoms - ions - through the surface layer of cells that make up organisms. Among other things, this transit is of crucial importance for the transfer of signals in nerves and muscles so that the body functions. Around 1980 Bert Sakmann and Erwin Neher developed a method for measuring the extremely weak currents involved in ion transits. These results confirmed that the transit occurs through ion channels - molecules on the surface of cells that under certain conditions allow ions to pass through.