Bernard Katz

Sir Bernard Katz ( born March 26, 1911 in Leipzig, † 20 April 2003 in London) was a biophysicist and neurophysiologist.


After the visit of King Albert Grammar School Katz studied at the University of Leipzig from 1929 Medicine, where he received his doctorate in 1934. After emigrating to England in February 1935 (he was Russian- Jewish origin ), conducted research and taught intermittently at University College London. In 1938, he was there again doctorate at Archibald Vivian Hill ( Phil D. ), and was then in Australia at John C. Eccles, after which he served for a time during World War II as a radar operator in the Royal Australian Air Force. In 1945, he married Marguerite Penly, they had two children. In 1946 he was back in London at University College, where he became in 1952 Professor Emeritus of Biophysics and 1978.

After Henry Dale and Otto Loewi had demonstrated the role of acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter, he examined the exact mechanism of release at the nerve - muscle connections with micropipettes with which he measured the Endflächenpotential (EPP). He discovered a noise in the absence of a stimulus, but which disappeared when the acetylcholine antagonist curare was injected, which therefore precluded a measurement error. Katz developed from the hypothesis that neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine only in packages ( quantized ) may be discharged. If there is no excitation of the nerve fiber, the release is random ( noise background), but increases sharply if the nerve was stimulated. His research he summarized in 1966 in his book, Nerve, Muscle and Synapse ( McGraw Hill, New York) together.

For his work on the quantized form of synaptic transmission of information he received in 1970 next to Ulf von Euler and Julius Axelrod the Nobel Prize for Medicine. In 1952 he was elected as a member ( "Fellow" ) to the Royal Society, in 1967 the Copley medal awarded him. 1969 Sir researchers often was knighted. In 1982, he was inducted into the Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts. In 1990 he received the Ralph W. Gerard Prize -.

According to him, the Goldman -Hodgkin -Katz equation is named after which the resting membrane potential of cells can figure out.