Katz, Sir Bernard

Katz, Sir Bernard, 1911–2003, British biophysicist, b. Germany, M.D. Univ. of Leipzig, 1934; Ph.D. University College, London, 1938. Katz became a British subject in 1941. He was a professor at University College, London, from 1952, having taken a post as a researcher there after World War II. In 1970 Katz was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Ulf von Euler and Julius Axelrod for elucidating the action of neurotransmitters, work which helped establish the foundations of psychopharmacology. Katz's specific contribution was uncovering the mechanism by which the transmitter acetylcholine is released from the nerve terminals at the nerve-muscle junction. He discovered that its release was continuous and spontaneous and that it occurred in packets, now called vesicles, of consistently varying size. He was knighted in 1969.

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