Peter Agre

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Peter Agre

Peter Courtland Agre (born January 30, 1949 in Northfield , Minnesota ) is an American physician and molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner in chemistry .


Peter Agre completed a chemistry degree at Augsburg College in Minneapolis (Minnesota), then studied medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (Maryland), where he has also been teaching since January 2008.

In 2003, he and Roderick MacKinnon ( USA ) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for researching channels in cell membranes . Peter Agre received the award for the discovery of water channels.

That the cells of the body would have to have specific channels for the transport of water in addition to the unspecific transport of water across the cell membrane was already suspected in the mid-19th century, but the exact transport mechanism was long sought in vain. It was not until 1988 that Peter Agre finally succeeded in deciphering the molecular processes in detail. He isolated a membrane protein , which he realized a year later that this had to be the long-sought water channel. Further research confirms his discovery - Agre dubbed the protein aquaporin for water pores . It is a large protein family, as we know today - eleven different variants have been found in the human body alone. This crucial discovery by the US researcher opened the door to a whole series of biochemical, physiological and genetic studies on water channels in bacteria, plants and mammals. Today researchers can follow a water molecule on its way through the cell membrane in detail. This improves understanding of a number of diseases, including the kidney, heart, muscles, and nervous system.

In 2000 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences , and in 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . Since 2004 he has been an elected member of the American Philosophical Society . In 2010 he became president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science . Since 2011 he has been a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy . In 2016, Agre received the George M. Kober Medal .

Web links

Commons : Peter Agre  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Press release from Johns Hopkins University, 2007 (English)
  2. ^ Members: Peter Courtland Agre. Royal Irish Academy, accessed April 10, 2019 .