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Alan L. Hodgkin

Alan L. HodgkinAKA Alan Lloyd Hodgkin

Born: 5-Feb-1914
Birthplace: Banbury, England
Died: 20-Dec-1998
Location of death: Cambridge, England
Cause of death: Illness

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Electrical impulses in nerves

Sir Alan L. Hodgkin and Sir Andrew F. Huxley were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1963, in recognition of their groundbreaking research into the chemical processes that allow nerve cells to transmit electrical impulses between the skin and the brain.. Their Nobel Prize was shared with Sir John Eccles, for his work on synapses. Based on their findings, Hodgkin and Huxley hypothesized that ion channels -- molecular "gates" -- control ions' access in and out of cells, and regulate neuron signaling. Their hypothesis was confirmed decades later, by the Nobel Prize-winning work of Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann.

During World War II, Hodgkin abandoned his other research and worked for the British Air Ministry, improving in-flight radar for British war planes. His father died of dysentery in occupied Baghdad in 1918. His wife, Marion Rous Hodgkin, was a successful writer of children's literature, whose books included Young Winter's Tales and Dead Indeed. Their son, John Hodgkin, is a professor of molecular biology at Cambridge. Hodgkin's cousin, historian Thomas L. Hodgkin, was the husband of Nobel laureate Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, and his father-in-law, pathologist Peyton Rous, won Nobel honors three years after Hodgkin, for his research into cancers caused by viruses.

Father: George Hodgkin (d. 1918 dysentery)
Mother: Mary Wilson Hodgkin Smith
Father: Lionel Smith (stepfather)
Wife: Marion Rous Hodgkin (author, m. 1944)
Daughter: Sarah Hodgkin Hayes (publishing industry worker)
Daughter: Deborah Hodgkin (psychologist)
Son: Jonathan Hodgkin (molecular biologist)
Daughter: Rachel Hodgkin

    High School: Greshams School, Holt, England (1932)
    University: Cambridge University (1937)
    University: Rockefeller University
    Scholar: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1938)
    Scholar: Cambridge University (1938)
    Teacher: Physiology, Cambridge University (1945-)
    Scholar: Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, England (1947-63)
    Professor: Foulerton Professor of the Royal Society (1951-69)
    Administrator: Chancellor, University of Leicester (1971-84)
    Professor: Biophysics, Cambridge University (1970-81)
    Administrator: Master, Trinity College, Cambridge University (1978-85)

    Royal Medal 1958
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1963, with John Eccles and Andrew F. Huxley
    Copley Medal 1965
    Knight of the British Empire 1972
    Order of Merit 1973
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Philosophical Society
    Royal Society 1948 (President, 1970-75)

Author of books:
Chance & Design: Reminiscences of Science in Peace and War (1992)
Conduction of the Nerve Impulse (1964)


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