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McKINNON Roderick

( Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003)

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Biography McKINNON Roderick
McKINNON, Roderick (Mackinnon, Roderick) (p. 1956) (USA). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003 (with P. Egrom).
Born in g. Burlington (Massachusetts). Parents with a family of 7 children moved to a suburb of Boston. I went to school and grew up a typical teenager from the suburbs. Parents had no relation to science and he did not know a single scientist, but he soon developed an interest in knowledge. Attend Sunday school, tk. could take out home microscope and seen it many wonderful things.

In 1974 entered the University Brendeysa in Boston. He graduated in 1978 with a bachelor's degree. During his studies he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Miller on the issue of calcium channel.

Then he studied at Tufts University, where he received a master's degree (1982). Intending to become practitioners and up to 1986 trained at the Beth Israel of-hospital, but in 30 years, decided to devote himself entirely to science and returned to his university mentor Miller University Brendeysa. Specialized in the field of biochemistry scorpion toxins and ion channels and played a crucial role in the choice McKinnon scientific direction. He roused his interest in the biochemical side of the problem of ion channels, which are traditionally seen as an area studies biophysicists

. Studying the work of the classics in this field A. Hodgkin and A. Huxley (Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, . 1963), . and B. Hille and K. Armstrong McKinnon came to a conclusion, . that he needed more fundamental training in membranology, . why in 1989 he moved to the department of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, . where was first assistant, . and then associate, . Finally, . full professor,
. In 1996 he became a professor of molecular biology and biophysics at Rockefeller University. All these years he studied problems related to the functioning of the potassium ion channel.

Living cells are divided between a lipid bilayer membrane. Lipid bilayer is impermeable to water, ions and other polar particles. Inside the cell is the membrane separating them organelles - nucleus, mitochondria and chloroplasts. Already in 1890 Ostwald-based experiments with colloidal membranes suggested that the electric current in living tissues can occur as a result of movement of ions through the membranes. In the early 20 in. was shown that the membrane potential is an electrochemical nature, resulting in L. Michaelis suggested (1925), that perhaps there are ion channels.

Investigations on the ion transport of Hodgkin and Huxley took shape as a result of a new area of knowledge - neurophysiology, which is based on the basic idea of the existence of ion channels for cations potassium and sodium. Substances inside the cells migrated through the membrane pumps such as Na +, K + ATPase, opened in 1957 by J. Skou (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) through channels that are specific for different particle. The situation was the central concept of neurophysiology of rapid ion transport ion selectivity and inactivation of ion channels, but the molecular mechanism of action of ion channels has remained unknown

. McKinnon realized, . that to address the mechanism of action of potassium channel he needs to explore ways of crystallization of proteins and their method of X-ray analysis, . and only if you can get information about the spatial structure of the potassium channel protein,
. In 1998 was able to crystallize the protein, which is a potassium ion channel (KcsA K + channel) bacterium Streptomyces lividans, which gave him the opportunity to establish (by X-ray analysis) of its detailed three-dimensional structure. This protein is composed of 4 subunits with alpha-helical structure, with a cavity in the center, through which the potassium cation and transferred. Images protein appeared on the cover of the journal 'Science', which the editors considered the opening McKinnon, one of 10 outstanding scientific achievements in 1998. Next on the basis of numerous data accumulated by science on the functioning of the potassium channel, McKinnon explained how the change in the conformation of this protein in the process of ion transport

. Honors McKinnon provide new opportunities for fundamental studies of biochemical and biophysical features of ion channels in general and provide a solid basis for understanding at the molecular level of many diseases of the nervous system, . muscles and cardiovascular system, . open, . Finally, . prospects of finding new drugs,

In parallel, developed a study to determine the structure of kinship) to the function) of proteins. Thus, there has been significant progress in the study of protein channel, selective for chloride ions. These X-ray diffraction and electron crystallography allowed to learn more about the acetylcholine receptor.

In 1999, McKinnon was awarded (together with B. Hille and K. Armstrong) Lasker prize for basic research in medicine, and in 2000 - Prize of Lewis Rosenthal. In the same year was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

In 2003 he, together with P. Egrom awarded the Nobel Prize 'for his discoveries related to ion channels in cell membranes: a study of the structure and mechanism of action of ion channels'.

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