In the ‘Hyderabad Lecture Series’ organized by the University of Hyderabad in association with the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI), Prof. Erwin Neher, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in the year 1991, delivered the third lecture of the series on the topic “Ion Channels: Their discovery and their role in Biomedicine and Pharmacology” on 4th January, 2018 at the School of Life Sciences, UoH.
Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Vice-Chancellor, UoH extended his warm welcome to Prof. Neher and his wife and a biochemistry scientist herself, Dr. Eva-Maria Neher, who was accompanying him for the lecture. He thanked Prof. Mrutyunjay Saur, Director, School of Biotechnology, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology for his efforts in making the event successful and further acknowledged the presence of distinguished scientists and experts, faculty members and students present at the venue. Recognizing the support offered by IRDAI, he said, “We are thankful to IRDAI in enabling us to conduct the lectures which bring together experts from all parts of the world to Hyderabad and make knowledge accessible.”
Prof. P. Reddana, Dean, School of Life Sciences in his brief address welcomed Prof. Neher, other distinguished guests, faculties and students present at the venue.
Prof. Erwin Neher, addressing the audience said, “It’s a pleasure to talk about my research and discuss its possibilities with you all in one of the best universities in the country.” He discussed in detail the earlier researches done in area of bio-electricity by scientists like Luigi Galvani, the pioneer of bioelectromagnetic, Santiago Ramon Y Cajal, Spanish neuroscientist and pathologist, and Julius Bernstein, a German Physiologist.
Prof. Erwin Neher spoke on a Patch Clamp technique that he developed along with his colleagues that revolutionized the study of ion channels, a kind of pore-forming proteins located in cell membranes that facilitate the passage of ions into and out of the cell and affect the human physiology. Patch clamp technique allows the measurement of incredibly small electrical currents (amounting to a picoampere) that pass through a single ion channel and in the screening and safety evaluation of drugs that are targeted to ion channels in a range of disorders including pain, epilepsy, depression, stroke, bipolar disorder, arrhythmia, hypertension, autoimmune disorders, cystic fibrosis and diabetes etc.
He elaborated on the ion channels and the concepts around them such as the involvement of ion channels in conducting tasks in different cell types like Nerve cell, Kidney cells, Lymphocytes etc., interest of pharma industry in ion channels for drug discovery, role of ion channels in heat and cold sensation, the diseases caused due to defect in ion channels, channelopathies in Cardiology and the Patch Clamp Technique.
Prof. Neher even took a few questions related to ion channels and their implications in the field from experts and students present at the venue.
The event concluded with Vice-Chancellor, UoH, Prof. Appa Rao felicitating Prof. Erwin Neher and Dr. Eva-Maria Neher with a memento and shawl.
Prof. KVA Ramaiah, School of Life Science at UoH introduced the speaker and Prof. Naresh Babu from School of Life Sciences proposed the vote of thanks.
By Monika Tiwari
Department of Communication
To view the lecture click on to the link below: