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Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, OM, KBE, FRS (born February 5, 1914, Banbury, Oxfordshire, England ; died December 20, 1998 Cambridge ) was a British physiologist and biophysicist, who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with Andrew Fielding Huxley on the basis of nerve "action potentials," the electrical impulses that enable the activity of an organism to be coordinated by a central nervous system. Hodgkin and Huxley shared the prize that year with John Carew Eccles, who was cited for research on synapses. Hodgkin and Huxley's findings led the pair to hypothesize ion channels, which were confirmed only decades later.
The experimental measurements on which the pair based their action potential theory represent one of the earliest applications of a technique of electrophysiology known as the "voltage clamp". The second critical element of their research was the so-called giant axon of Atlantic squid (Loligo pealei), which enabled them to record ionic currents as they would not have been able to do in almost any other neuron, such cells being too small to study by the techniques of the time. The experiments took place at the University of Cambridge beginning in 1935 with frog sciatic nerve and continuing into the 1940s, after interruption by World War II.
During the war he volunteered to work on Aviation Medicine at Farnborough and was subsequently transferred to the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) where he worked on the development of centimetric radar, including the design of the Village Inn airborne gun-laying system.
Hodgkin and Huxley subsequently published their theory in 1952.
Confirmation of ion channels came with the development of the patch clamp, which led to a Nobel prize in 1991 to Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann.
Hodgkin was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was knighted in 1972 and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1973. From 1970 to 1975 he was President of the Royal Society, and from 1978 to 1984 he was Master of Trinity College.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alan_Lloyd_Hodgkin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|