Erwin Neher

Ion channels: Past, Present and Future

Category: Agora Talks

Date: 26 June 2018

Duration: 43 min

Quality: HD MD SD

Erwin Neher  (2018) - Ion channels: Past, Present and Future


The establishment of the ‘Patch Clamp Technique’ has transformed electrophysiology and the study of membrane proteins. The lecture and discussion on these developments will proceed in three steps:

The Past: A discussion of the motivation for developing the technique and the technical problems to be solved, as well as a listing of surprises encountered in its use.

The Present: Dealing with the surprise i) that there are more than 200 genes in our genome, which code for ion channels, ii) that these diverse molecules mediate a large variety of cellular functions, iii) that ion channels are prime targets for pharmaca, and iv) that mutations in ion channels cause a multitude of congenital diseases.

The Future: Challenges/opportunities by ‘all-optical’ techniques and the development of automated patch-clamping for high throughput drug testing and for ‘blind patching’ deep inside tissue.