Professor Ricardo Miledi FRS
Ricardo Miledi conducted important work on neuromuscular and synaptic transmission. By the ingenious application of electrical micromethods, Ricardo advanced our knowledge of the properties of motor end-plates and neuronal synapses. He mapped out the difference localisations of cholinesterase and of acetylcholine-sensitive sites along the surface of skeletal muscle fibres and shown their characteristic changes associated with the formation and removal of motor nerve contacts. He made major contributions to many joint investigations, for example in showing the synaptic origin of spontaneous potentials in spinal nerve cells; in demonstrating active propagation of impulses in motor nerve terminals; analysing the nature of the delay between the arrival of the nerve impulse and the release of acetylcholine; and showing the direct role of calcium in the release of chemical transmitters at nerve–muscle junctions and at a giant synapse in cephalopods.
Professor Ricardo Miledi FRS died on 18 December 2017.