Stephen Heinemann

Stephen F. Heinemann (1939–2014) was a professor of neuroscience at the Salk Institute. He was an early researcher in the field of molecular neuroscience, contributing to the current knowledge of how nerves communicate with each other, and the role of neurotransmitters.

Stephen Heinemann
BornFebruary 11, 1939
DiedAugust 6, 2014
Alma mater
Spouse(s)Ann Reischauer
Scientific career

Heinemann was born February 11, 1939, in Boston, MA, to Robert Heinemann and Christel Fuchs. He grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and attended Buckingham Browne & Nichols secondary school.[1] His uncle, Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs, a physicist and spy who contributed to the development of the atomic bomb, encouraged his interest in science.[2]

Heinemann graduated from CalTech with a bachelor's degree in 1962, and earned a PhD in biochemistry at Harvard University under the mentorship of Matt Meselson in 1967. He then did research as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.[2] He joined the Salk Institute in 1970, where he founded the department of molecular neurobiology, which soon became known as one of the world's top research centers in the field.[3][1] He did pioneering work in the subject of motor neurons and neuromuscular junctions. He remained at Salk until his retirement.[4]

He was an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences[5], the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also served as president of the Society for Neuroscience in 2005–2006.[3] He was awarded the Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research Award, the McKnight Award for Research, and the Julius Axelrod Prize.[1]

Heinemann married Ann Reischauer and had five children.[2] He died August 6, 2014 of kidney failure.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Stevens, Charles F.; Lipton, Stuart A. (9 October 2014). "Stephen F. Heinemann 1939–2014". Cell. 159 (2): 231–232. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.042. ISSN 0092-8674. PMID 25436266. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Stephen F. Heinemann, pioneering Salk neuroscientist, dies at 75". Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Stephen F. Heinemann | The Gruber Foundation". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  4. ^ Julius, David; Lemke, Greg (7 October 2014). "Stephen F. Heinemann: A true original". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (40): 14314–14315. doi:10.1073/pnas.1416208111. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4209978. PMID 25258411.
  5. ^ "Stephen Heinemann". Retrieved 19 April 2019.