Alan Lloyd Hodgkin

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Hodgkin, Alan Lloyd


Born Feb. 5, 1914, in Banbury, Oxfordshire. British physiologist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1948; president, 1970–75).

Hodgkin graduated from Cambridge University in 1936. In 1937 he was sent to the USA on a scientific assignment. In 1938–39 he worked in Plymouth at the laboratory of the Marine Biological Association of Great Britain. From 1939 to 1945, Hodgkin served as a scientific consultant to the Air Ministry and the Ministry of Aircraft Production of Great Britain. In 1945 he joined the faculty of Cambridge University, receiving a professorship there in 1952. In 1971 he became chancellor of the University of Leicester. Hodgkin was a member of the National Medical Research Council from 1959 to 1965 and president of the Marine Biological Association from 1966 to 1976.

Hodgkin’s principal works deal with the physiology of the nerve cell and the mechanisms of excitation and inhibition. Theoretically and experimentally he proved that the origin of biopotentials was linked with the selective permeability of the cell membrane to ions. Hodgkin devised and applied a method of fixing a potential in a membrane so that the mechanism of action of the potential in a nerve fiber can be studied. He is the author of the fundamental theories on the role of ion gradients in the generation of nerve impulses.

Hodgkin was made a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1976. He won a Nobel Prize in 1963 jointly with A. F. Huxley and J. C. Eccles.


The Conduction of the Nervous Impulse. Liverpool, 1964.
In Russian translation:
Nervnyi impul’s. Moscow, 1965.