Professor Nicholas Peter Franks FRS
Professor of Biophysics and Anaesthetics, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London
Nick Franks' work has revolutionized our fundamental understanding of the mechanism of action of one of the most medically important classes of drugs - the general anaesthetics. He has overturned a major 'textbook dogma', in existence since the 1890's, that anaesthetics act 'non-specifically' on cell membranes. His seminal research has demonstrated that anaesthetics act at a small number of defined neuronal protein targets, providing a clearer understanding of how anaesthetics act at the molecular and neuronal network levels. He has led the field in identifying relevant ion channels and receptors. His contributions are unique, in terms of breadth and impact.