Professor Bernd Nilius receives Medal

Bloemdal Medal

The Hans Bloemendal Medal for 2011 was awarded to Bernd Nilius, in recognition of his groundbreaking studies in biomedical sciences. He is an outstanding physiologist who has dedicated his research career to electro-physiological analysis of ion channels in health and disease. Bernd Nilius was one of the first scientist to investigate calcium channels in heart. Using the sucrose gap voltage-clamp technique he was able to measure, for the first time, the acetylcholine-induced outward currents associated with activation of muscarinic cholinoreceptors in atrial cardiomyocytes. His pioneering work continued in the laboratory of Dick Tsien, where he made seminal observations of low- and high-threshold single-channel calcium currents. After many fruitful years in Halle, and a brief period at the Max Planck Research Group for Molecular Cell Physiology in Jena, Bernd Nilius became professor of Physiology at KU Leuven.

Arguably Bernd Nilius is best recognized for his work on transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. He has been instrumental in the discovery and characterization of various members of the TRP family, most notably TRPC3/4, TRPV4/5/6 and TRPM 4/5/6 and TRPV1. His never-ending drive to understand these channels in the context of molecular mechanisms of disease meant that he has been influential in our understanding of the temperature-dependent gating of TRPs. Bernd Nilius demonstrated the role of TRPM5 in temperature-sensitivity of taste and was the first to publish the pathological potential of TRPM4 in variety of diseases.

Here you can view the award certificate.

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