for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes
US citizen. Born 19 February 1956
Roderick MacKinnon attended Brandeis University where he gained a BA in biochemistry in 1978. He went on to study medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he gained his MD in 1982, and completed his medical residency at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In 1986 MacKinnon made the difficult decision to abandon medicine and return to basic science, beginning postdoctoral work at Brandeis with his undergraduate mentor Christopher Miller. Under Miller, MacKinnon began working on the biophysical aspects of ion channel function. In 1989 he joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School to run his own laboratory. He then made another move to Rockefeller in 1996 where he could pursue X-ray crystallography to visualize the arrangements of atoms in the potassium channel.
Dr MacKinnon is Professor of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics at the Rockefeller University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of numerous scientific awards, including the the 2003 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, the 2001 Gairdner Foundation International Award, the 2001 Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize, the 2000 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science and the 1999 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.
The information on this page is based on content at Nobelprize.org © The Nobel Foundation, Roderick MacKinnon's page at Rockefeller University and hhmi.org. Photo courtesy of The Rockefeller University