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Fellows Directory

David Brown

Professor David Brown FRS


Elected: 1990


David Brown is noted for his ingenious electrophysiological studies of slow-acting membrane receptors and channels that control the excitability of neurons. This selective tuning underpins global aspects of brain function — such as arousal and memory retrieval — and his work has specific relevance to the action of drugs used to treat epilepsy and pain.

David’s early studies of isolated clusters of nerve cells revealed a new receptor for the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, later named the GABAB receptor, which plays a regulatory role throughout the brain. He then discovered a new potassium channel, the M channel, which damps the excitability of neurons until closed by acetylcholine binding to muscarinic receptors.

More recently, David has used molecular biological and biochemical to reconstitute and modify receptors and channels, and to study the pathways that coordinate their action. He received the Feldberg Prize in 1992, and is past Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Pharmacology.

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