Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley
huxley

Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley

Andrew Huxley, a British physiologist who shared the 1963 Nobel Prize with two other scientists for research on how nerve impulses are transmitted, died May 30 at age 94. Trinity College of Britain’s Cambridge University, where Huxley spent much of his academic life, announced his death.

Huxley won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his experimental and mathematical work with Alan Hodgkin 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 Eccles, who was cited for research on synapses. Hodgkin and Huxley's findings led the pair to hypothesize the existence of ion channels, which were isolated only decades later. Together with the Swiss physiologist Robert Stämpfli he evidenced the existence of saltatory conduction in myelinated nerve fibers. Huxley’s later research explored electrical conductivity in muscles.  Huxley also developed the mathematical equations for the operation of myosin "cross-bridges" that generate the sliding forces between actin and myosin filaments, an entirely new paradigm for understanding muscle contraction.

Huxley continued to hold college and university posts in Cambridge until 1960, when he became head of the Department of Physiology at University College London.  In 1984, Huxley became master of Trinity College, Cambridge University. He was named a fellow in the Royal Society in 1955 and served as its president from 1980 to 1985. He was knighted in 1974.  Huxley was elected to Honorary Membership in the American Physiological Society in 1981. 


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