Erwin Neher

Erwin Neher

1991 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

German biophycicist. Adjunct Professor ofthe University of Gottingen, Director emeritusat the Max Planck Institute for BiophysicalChemistry in Gottingen, MembraneBiophysics Department. In 1991, he wasawarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology orMedicine 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 work at the Max-Planck-Institute for biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany
  • 1983-Present, Appointment as Director of the Membrane Biophysics Department at the MPI in Gottingen, Germany

Honors and Awards

    • 1986, Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University with Bert Sakmann.
    • 1989, Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
    • 1991, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    • 1994, Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS)
    • 2005,‘Einstein Professor’ of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

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.