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A Legacy of Teaching: Uwe Heinemann 


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Uwe Heinemann was a German neurophysiologist and one of the most influential researchers in the field of epilepsy worldwide. Heinemann began his work during the 1970s at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich where he made innumerable scientific contributions to the field. He spent the last 23 years of his life at Charité University Hospital in Berlin, which he helped transform into a leading centre of neuroscience.


Uwe was a significant force in shaping epilepsy research on many levels. First and foremost, he had a remarkable ability to convey his fascination with the field of epilepsy to students and young researchers. Young epilepsy researchers from Finland, Israel, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Ireland, Russia and many other countries have been students, researchers or guests in his laboratory, and have retained epilepsy as a lifelong research interest.


Additionally, Uwe had a remarkable commitment to teaching. He was always very active in making the science behind epilepsy accessible to patients, students, neurologists and laypersons. He not only gave lectures, but also reformed and initiated numerous teaching programs, including medical studies, local and international neuroscience graduate schools, and training centres.


Uwe was beloved by many for his unfailing loyalty and supportiveness, and generosity towards colleagues and his scientific progeny. His scientific curiosity, his enthusiasm, his encyclopedic knowledge, and his honest delight in well-performed science were an example for a generation of neuroscientists. His numerous Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows, guests and collaborators speak fondly of their time in Uwe's laboratory, and the lifelong relationships that followed. Many of us in the field owe him much, both personally and professionally.


Uwe's later work included studying mechanisms of neuronal oscillations and their plasticity, and also collaborating with Alon Friedman, to develop a line of research dealing with the relevance of intact blood-brain barrier for epileptogenesis.

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