Sakmann, Bert

Sakmann, Bert, 1942–, German biophysicist, M.D. Univ. of Göttingen, Germany, 1974. He has been a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen since 1974. Sakmann received the 1991 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Edwin Neher for their joint discoveries concerning the functioning of ion channels in cell membranes. Neher and Sakmann are credited with establishing the existence and describing the functioning of ion channels and with developing the patch-clamp technique, a method of measuring the tiny electrical currents produced as the ions pass through the channels. Their work brought about a revolution in the field of cell biology, providing a new approach for the study of disease mechanisms and the development of drug treatments.

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