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Uwe Heinemann

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 28 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5763
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. Hamburg
  1. ns{at}

Neurophysiologist whose work led to a better understanding of epilepsy and who helped to cultivate a strong relationship between German and Israeli neuroscientists

The global community of brain researchers is mourning the loss of German neurophysiologist Uwe Heinemann, who spent nearly half a century working to uncover the secrets of the brain, focusing on epilepsy.

Heinemann began his work during the 1970s at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich and spent the last 23 years of his life at Charité Universitätsmedizin (Charité university hospital) in Berlin, which he helped transform into a leading centre of neuroscience.

In addition to his groundbreaking work, Heinemann was a mentor for dozens of young medical scientists from Finland, Israel, France, Belgium, Holland, the UK, Ireland, Russia, and other countries.

“Uwe, as we all affectionately called him—sidestepping the formal mode of address in German academia—was a marvellous mentor,” says Istvan Mody, who in the 1980s was a postdoctoral trainee under Heinemann and is now professor of neurology and of physiology at UCLA in the US. “He was always jovial, yet his science was always truthful and serious. Through his many disciples scattered around the world, his legacy will …

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