An Obituary Notice

Dan Hu dhu at mega.cs.umn.edu
Thu Apr 13 14:01:21 EST 1995


                Shanghai Institute of Physiology
                Mourns Loss of Honorary Director

     Te-Pei Feng, Honorary Director of the Shanghai Institute of
Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, died on April 10, 1995 at
age 88.

     Feng's long scientific career had several outstanding
landmarks.  The first landmark was when he studied in the
laboratory of Professor A.V. Hill in University College London
working on the heat production of muscle and nerve.  Among his
achievements during that period was his discovery of the increase
of the resting heat production of muscle on passive stretch, which
later became known as "Feng effect".

     The second landmark was the period 1934-1941, just after his
return from abroad, when he was teaching in the Department of
Physiology, Peking Union Medical College.  During this period he
opened a new research direction in the physiology of neuromuscular
junction. He made a number of seminal discoveries; in the period
1936-41 he and his students published a long series of 26 papers on
neuromuscular junction in the Chinese Journal of Physiology
(English), which attracted worldwide attention among
neurophysiologists.  He soon became an internationally acknowledged
pioneer in modern research on neuromuscular junction.

     The third landmark in his research career was in the field of
nerve-muscle trophic relations which he entered in 1961 with a
spectacular discovery at the very beginning, namely, the discovery
of the extraordinary phenomenon of post-denervation hypertrophy in
the slow muscle fibers of the chick.  He resumed his research in
this field in the seventies and together with his collaborators
made important contributions to the problem of the neural
determination of the phenotypic characteristics of skeletal muscle
fibers.

     When he reached the age eighty, Feng took up the study of
synaptic plasticity in central synapses, in particular long-term
potentiation (LTP) and had already made significant contribution to
the cellular mechanisms underlying LTP.

     Feng was born in 1907 in Zhejiang, China and obtained a
bachelor's degree in biology from the Fudan University in 1926 and
a master's degree in Physiology from the University of Chicago in
1930.  He earned a doctorate in physiology from the University
College of London in 1933.  After returning to China in 1934 he
served as professor of physiology at the Peking Union Medical
College until 1941.  In 1943 he became an acting director of the
Medical Research Institute (preparatory), Academia Sinica.  When
the Institute was renamed the Institute of Physiology in 1950, Feng
served as a director until 1984. At the time of death, Feng was a
professor emeritus and honorary director of the Shanghai Institute
of Physiology.  During Feng's lifetime, he published over 100
scientific papers.

     Feng was elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1955. 
He was a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences
(USA), a member of the Third World Academy (1986) and a foreign
member of the Indian Academy of Sciences (1988).  Feng won honorary
members from various societies.

     Feng was a devoted scientist and will be greatly missed.

     Funeral services will be held on April 24, 1995. Please
address messages of condolence to:

               Prof. Xiong-Li Yang
               Director       
               Shanghai Institute of Physiology 
               Chinese Academy of Sciences 
               Tel: (8621) 437-0080 
               FAX: (8621) 433-2445 
               e-mail address: sls at fudan.ihep.ac.cn



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