Helmut Haas

Helmut Haas grew up in the south-west corner of Germany. After naval military service he studied medicine in Basel, Switzerland and Freiburg, Germany, where he obtained his M.D. (1968) for a dissertation on aphasia. Then he worked in the Psychiatric and Neurological University- Clinics in Basel before taking a postdoctoral position in the Department of Pharmacology, Cambridge, England. This was followed by a number of years as head of the Neurophysiology-Laboratory in the Neurosurgery-Department Zürich and visiting Professorships on sleep research at Harvard-University in 1986 and 1989. In 1987 Helmut became Professor and Head of the Department of Biophysics at Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany; in 1991 he took the Chair of Neurophysiology at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf. In 1971 Helmut began to work on histamine in the brainstem. He has since devoted much of his scientific life to this fascinating field characterizing histamine actions in the brain (e.g. Nature 1975, 1983, Neuron 1993) and later the properties of histaminergic neurons in the tuberomamillary nucleus using mainly electrophysiological methods. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. His research was financed by the National Institutions in Switzerland and Germany and the Human Frontiers Science Programme (network mechanisms of memory trace formation) as well as the European Community (Consortium “food, mood and sleep” on orexins). Helmut, besides being a regular attendee of our meetings, hosted the 33rd EHRS meeting in 2004 near Düsseldorf. He is now, retired but not tired, cooperating with his wife (Prof. Olga Sergeeva) on new challenges of the histaminergic system in the brain. Helmut truly deserves the accolade of being elected an Honorary Member of this society.