Gasser Herbert
Country United States
Category Medicine
Year 1944

Gasser Herbert, 1888 - 1963, Year won 1944, A pioneer of modern neurological research..

Herbert Gasser was born in 1888 in Wisconsin, USA. He received his medical degree in 1915 from Johns Hopkins University and was professor of pharmacology and physiology at Washington and Cornell Universities. From 1935, he directed the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research.

In 1944, Herbert Gasser and his colleague Joseph Erlanger were jointly awarded the Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine “For their discoveries, relating to the highly differentiated functions of single nerve fibers.”
Gasser and Erlanger were the first to succeed in performing a detailed measurement of the action-potential of a single nerve cell, using an amplified oscilloscope that they built.

Their measurements revealed three types of nerve fibers, as well as a direct relation between the fiber’s thickness and the speed of the electrical signal passing along it. Inasmuch as the fiber is wider, the velocity is increased.

Gasser and Erlanger’s experiments formed the cornerstone of modern knowledge on neural action potentials and were vital to our understanding of the different functions of the nerve system.

Herbert Gasser passed away in 1963.

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