Neher , Erwin
(1944–) German biophysicist
Neher was born in Landsberg, Germany. After attending the Technical University of Munich and the University of Wisconsin, he joined the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, in 1970, as a research associate. In 1972 he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, being appointed research director in 1983. Two periods of research in America took him to Yale University (1975–76) and the California Institute of Technology (1988–89).
Neher is best known for his studies of the minute channels in the membranes of living cells that allow ions to pass in and out of the cell. In the mid-1970s, working in collaboration with Bert Sakmann, Neher developed the so-called `patch-clamp technique’ to detect the tiny electrical currents produced by the passage of ions through the membrane. Detection posed considerable technical challenges, given that the currents associated with each channel are of the order of 10–12 ampere, and the channels have a diameter comparable to the diameter of the ions.
The technique involved applying the tip of a saline-containing micropipette to the cell's membrane and applying suction to form a seal around the patch of membrane. The currents produced by the ions passing through the ion channel was monitored using a special amplifier. The technique had the great advantage of eliminating electrical noise generated by other parts of the membrane, which hitherto had obscured signals from any one channel.
Using their technique, Neher and Sakmann were able to demonstrate that the ion channels are either ‘open’ or ‘shut’, i.e., producing an ‘all or nothing’ signal. Also, each channel is specific to a particular type of ion.
The patch-clamp technique has proved itself to be both sensitive and elegant, and has found application in many fields of basic and applied research. Ion channels are involved in a range of biological processes, such as the generation of nerve impulses, the fertilization of eggs, and the regulation of the heartbeat. The way in which their behavior is altered by disease or drugs can have far-reaching implications.
This crucial development in cellular research techniques earned Neher and Sakmann the 1991 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Neher, Erwin — ▪ German physicist born March 20, 1944, Landsberg, Ger.       German physicist, winner with Bert Sakmann (Sakmann, Bert) in 1991 of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their research into basic cell function and for the development of… …   Universalium

  • Neher — Erwin …   Scientists

  • Erwin Neher — (2007) Erwin Neher (* 20. März 1944 in Landsberg am Lech, Bayern) ist ein deutscher Biophysiker. Ihm wurde 1991, gemeinsam mit Bert Sakmann, der Nobelpreis für Physiologie oder Medizin für die bahnbrechenden Entdeckungen zur Funktion von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erwin Neher — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Erwin Neher (2007) Erwin Neher nació en 1944 en Landsberg am Lech, Alemania. Estudió Física en la Universidad Técnica de Múnich y Medicina en la Universidad de Göttingen. En …   Wikipedia Español

  • Erwin Neher — en 2007. Erwin Neher (né le 20 mars 1944 à Landsberg am Lech, en Bavière), est un chimiste allemand. Il reçut conjointement avec Bert Sakmann le prix Nobel de physiologie ou de médecine en 1991 pour leurs découvertes des fonctions des canaux… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Neher — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: André Neher (1914–1988), jüdischer Philosoph Bernhard Neher (1814–1865), Schweizer Industrieller Bernhard von Neher (1806–1886), auch Bernhard Neher der Jüngere, Maler und Direktor der Kunstschule… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Neher — is a surname, and may refer to: André Neher, Jewish scholar and philosopher (1914–1988) Carola Neher, German actress (1900 1942) Caspar Neher, stage designer (1897–1962) Erwin Neher, German biophysicist (born 1944) Fred Neher, American cartoonist …   Wikipedia

  • Erwin Neher — nació en 1944 en Lansberg , Alemania. Estudió Física en la Universidad Técnica de Munich y Medicina en la Universidad de Gottingen. En Estados Unidos se especializó en Fisiología. Trabajó como investigador en las universidades de Wisconsin y Yale …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Neher — Neher,   1) Caspar, Bühnenbildner, * Augsburg 11. 4. 1897, ✝ Wien 30. 6. 1962; arbeitete v. a. mit seinem Jugendfreund B. Brecht (»Mann ist Mann«, 1926; »Die Dreigroschenoper«, 1928; »Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny«, 1930). Gab auch mit… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Erwin Neher — Infobox Scientist name = Erwin Neher box width = image width = caption = Erwin Neher (2007) birth date = birth date|1944|3|20 birth place = Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, Germany death date = death place = residence = citizenship = nationality =… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”