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Nobel laureate Sir Andrew Huxley passes away

Nobel laureate Sir Andrew Huxley passes away

THE death has taken place of the scientist Sir Andrew Huxley, He was 94.

Sir Andrew shared the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine in 1963 with Sir Alan Hodgkin, with whom he had closely collaborated, and with Australian scientist Sir John Eccles.

They had received the prize for unravelling the biophysical mechanism of the nerve impulse. 

Huxley and Hodgkin had first begun collaborating in the late 1930s but their work had to be suspended during the war years when Sir Andrew was involved in number of projects including work on radar research.

After the war the two scientists resumed their research into how nerve impulses were transmitted by the body. Their work necessitated the development of specialist equipment which in many cases was not only designed by Sir Andrew, but also built by him.

The scientists were eventually able to explain the complex process of nerve impulses in what was regarded as a breakthrough of revolutionary proportions.

At this point Sir Andrew was teaching physiology at Cambridge in the 1950s. He then turned his research skills to the matter of muscle contraction. It assist his work Sir Andrew had to design and build new kinds of microscopes.

Sir Andrew was not only one of the country’s great scientists but he was also regarded as being one of the great university administrators. He was appointed master of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1984.

He was president of the Royal Society from 1980 until 1985. 

Sir Andrew is survived by his six children. His wife, Lady Richenda, passed away in 2003.

To view an interview with Sir Andrew Huxley, click here.


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