National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Featured Author: Ichiji Tasaki
Ichiji Tasaki (b. 21 October, 1910, in Japan, d. 4 January, 2009, in Bethesda, MD) graduated from Keio University Medical School in Tokyo (in 1934) and became a research assistant of the physiological laboratory of the same school. In 1938, he received his M.D. and started his research in the field of neurophysiology as a docent in physiology of the same university. Between July, 1950 and May, 1951, he studied in Switzerland and England as a Rockefeller fellow.
In June, 1951, Dr. Tasaki came to the U.S.A. and worked at Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Mo, as a visiting associate. Since November, 1953, he has been working at the National Institutes of Health, MD, first as a visiting scientist and then as a section chief in NINDS, and later as a laboratory chief and then as senior research scientist in NIMH.
Dr. Tasaki discovered saltatory feature of nerve conduction (in Japan, late 1930s), he developed the method of intracellular perfusion and analyzed the mechanism of nerve conduction (at NIH, early 1960s), he discovered and analyzed the production of fluorescence signal in nerve fibers (in 1970s), he discovered rapid swelling of nerve fibers in association with their excitation (late 1970s), and he developed a new method of detecting heat production associated with nerve excitation (late 1980s).
His major publications include monographs Nervous Transmission (1953), Nerve Excitation: A Macromolecular Approach (1969), and Physiology and Electrochemistry of Nerve fibers (1982).
At the age of 97, Dr. Tasaki is the most senior author of Scholarpedia! (Second most senior author is Dr. Bob Galambos - the discoverer of sonars in bats.)
- Tasaki I. (2007) Saltatory Conduction. Scholarpedia
List of previous featured authors
Figure 1: Dr. Ichiji Tasaki. Photo taken in 1954, at a most pivotal time in his career.
Figure 2: Dr. Ichiji Tasaki in 2002 in his laboratory at NIH where he worked on the gel (photo taken by NIH photographer, Bill Branson, and provided by Dr. Tasaki in 2007).