Andrew F. Huxley life and biography

Andrew F. Huxley picture, image, poster

Andrew F. Huxley biography

Date of birth : 1917-11-22
Date of death : -
Birthplace : London,England
Nationality : English
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-20
Credited as : physiologist and biophysicist, Electrical impulses in nerves, Nobel laureate

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Andrew Fielding Huxley is an English physiologist and biophysicist, who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his experimental and mathematical work with Sir Alan Lloyd 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 Carew 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 fibres.

Inserting microelectrodes into the enormous nerve fibers of the squid L. forbesi, physiologist Andrew F. Huxley and his colleague Alan L. Hodgkin studied the exchange of sodium and potassium ions that reverse the electrical polarization of an individual nerve cell. For demonstrating the chemical processes involved in transmission of nerve impulses, Huxley and Hodgkin were awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in Medicine, sharing the honors with neurophysiologist John Eccles. Huxley also served as editor of the scientific reviews Journal of Physiology and Journal of Molecular Biology.

His grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was a noted 19th-century writer and biologist, and his father, Leonard Huxley, wrote a famous biography of the elder Huxley. His father's first wife, Julia Arnold, was a niece of poet Matthew Arnold, and the mother of Andrew Huxley's four half-siblings, including the biologist Julian Huxley and Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World. His wife, Jocelyn Richenda Gammell Pease, was the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of pioneering English potter Josiah Wedgwood, and his niece, Angela Huxley, married George Pember Darwin, a great-grandson of Charles Darwin.

Huxley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London on 17 March 1955. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 12 November 1974. Sir Andrew was then appointed to the Order of Merit on 11 November 1983.

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