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Jens C. Skou

Jens C. SkouAKA Jens Christian Skou

Born: 8-Oct-1918
Birthplace: Lemvig, Denmark

Gender: Male
Religion: Agnostic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor

Nationality: Denmark
Executive summary: ATPase researcher

Danish physician and scientist Jens C. Skou studied the means by which sodium and potassium ions are transported and distributed through the cell membranes. In 1956 he discovered that the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) degrading enzyme was most stimulated in response to sodium and potassium ions, similar to those found naturally in nerve cells. From this evidence and more, Skou theorized that ATPase works through the means of an ion "pump" in the cell membrane, and detailed the process of phosphorylation, in which a phosphate group is transferred from donor to acceptor. For his discovery of the Na+ K+ ATPase pump, Skou was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1997, sharing the honor with Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker, who conducted ATP related research independently.

Father: Magnus Martinus Skou (lumber merchant, d. 1930 pneumonia)
Mother: Ane-Margrethe Jensen Knak Skou
Wife: Peter Skou (coal and lumber merchant)
Wife: Ellen Margrethe Nielsen (nurse, m. 1948)
Daughter: Hanne (b. 1952)
Daughter: Karen (b. 1954)

    High School: Haslev Gymnasium, Haslev, Denmark (1937)
    Medical School: MD, University of Copenhagen (1944)
    Scholar: Hjorring Hospital and Aarhus Orthopaedic Hospital (1944-47)
    University: PhD Physiology, University of Aarhus (1954)
    Teacher: Physiology, University of Aarhus (1947-63)
    Professor: Physiology, University of Aarhus (1963-78)
    Professor: Biophysics, University of Aarhus (1978-88)

    SSAG Anders Retzius Medal 1977
    Fernström Foundation’s Nordic Prize 1985
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1997 (with Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker)
    Academia Europaea
    American Physiological Society Foreign Member
    European Molecular Biology Organization
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Foreign Member
    Japanese Biochemical Society Foreign Member
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate
    Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters

Author of books:
The Na+, K+-pump (1988, chemistry)


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