ECRO Honorary Members

Article 3 of the ECRO constitution defines Honorary Members as scientists of outstanding merit in the field of chemoreception. Honorary Members may be nominated by the Board of the Organization and approved by the members at the General Assembly.

Jacques LE MAGNEN (1916-2002; FR) founding father of ECRO

was a Professor at the College de France in Paris from 1949 to 1989 where he studied the sensory and behavioral neurophysiology of olfactory sensation but also the mechanisms controlling food and water intake. He is best known for the finding that the complex sensory perception (visual, olfactory, gustatory, etc.) associated with food becomes a conditioned stimulus that influences food preferences and aversion and ultimately determines the amount of food intake.


Despite his blindness, he led a successful and influential research laboratory for 40 years. In addition, he was active in the Centre National de Recherche and instrumental in the foundation of ECRO in 1970. In a satellite meeting to the Utrecht Symposium on Odour Perception, which was chaired by Patrick MacLeod and attended by 34 researchers in Woudschosen (NL), ECRO was established on 24th August 1970. During the meeting Jacques Le Magnen explained that the objective of the convention was to inaugurate a new scientific society to develop cooperation between laboratories working on Chemoreception in Europe and to facilitate contacts between them. He also proposed the name of the newly founded organization to be “European Chemoreception Research Organization”, or ECRO for short.


Subsequently ECRO was registered in France using Jacques Le Magnen's office address at the Collège de France, 11 place Marcelin Berthelot, Paris, as its official address. It was stipulated that “The purpose of the Organization is to promote and coordinate research on chemoreception by all legal means” and all 34 scientists present at the meeting voted in favor of adopting the ECRO Constitution. It was decided that the General Assembly should convene every 2 years at a convenient place and Jaques Le Magnen was elected as the first President of ECRO.

Lord Edgar Douglas ADRIAN  (1890-1977; UK) 

was a Professor of Physiology at the University of Cambridge and its Chancellor between 1967 and 1975. He was also the President of the Royal Society from 1950 to 1955 and was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1938 and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1946.


In 1932 he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology together with Sir Charles Scott Sherrington in recognition of their work on the function of neurons. Among his early achievements are experimental evidence for the 'All-or-None' law of nerves and adaptation to continued sensory stimulation. Early in his studies on sensory functions, he became interested in the field of olfaction. He was the first to demonstrate induced electrical waves in the olfactory bulb and the spatial distribution of responses to different chemical compounds. He was named an ECRO Honorary Member in 1974.   

Leopold RUŽIČKA  (1887-1976; CR/CH)

was a Croation/Swiss scientist working on structure-activity relationships of odorous compounds, which led to the discovery of the carbon ring structure of musk compounds. He received the Nobel Prize in 1939 together with Adolf Butenandt for his discoveries on the molecular structure of polymethylenes and higher terpenes. He was a foreign member ofthe Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Yugoslav Academy os Sciences and Arts. He was named  ECRO Honorary Member in 1972.

Yngve ZOTTERMAN  (1898-1982; SE)

was a  Swedish neurophysiologist, who received his medical training at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He conducted pioneering studies on nerve conduction, sensory function of the skin, and on the neurochemistry of taste buds.

A leading contribution to neurophysiology was his work with E. Dodt and H. Hensel on temperature sensitivity in the cat's tongue. He also discovered water-sensitive fibres in the tongue of the frog but not the mammalian tongue. He was an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 1949, and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1953. Yngve Zotterman was named ECRO Honorary Member in 1972.     


David OTTOSON  (1918-2001, SE)

joined the ECRO Board as Vice President in 1974 and was ECRO President from 1976 to 1982. He started his scientific career in 1952 as a research assistant at the Department of Physiology at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. He defended his thesis `Analysis of the electrical activity of the olfactory epithelium' in 1956, which was a milestone in olfactory research. In his thesis work he discovered the electro-olfactogram (EOG), a slow wave potential that occurs at the surface of the olfactory epithelium and which is induced by the activation of olfactory receptor cells by odorants. He also made fundamental discoveries on the function of the olfactory bulb. 

During his time as a Professor at the Royal Veterinary College in 1966 and Professor at the Department of Physiology at the Karolinska Institutet in 1974, he was a member of the Nobel Committee between 1974 and 1984. He held posts as Secretary General for the Association of Physiology, Stockholm, and was an Editor of the journal Acta Physiologica Scandinavica. He also headed the Wenner-Gren Institutions and by remarkable fundraising activities created an international centre for scientific exchange. He created and became Editor-in-chief of the `Progress in Sensory Physiology' series between 1980 and1990. In 1990, he founded the journal Neuroreport in 1990 and was Editor-in-chief for nearly the rest of his fruitful life. Upon his retirement from the Karolinska Institutet in 1984, he became the Secretary General of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), a position that he held until 1997. He was also a special advisor to the Director-General of UNESCO and a member of the Council of Advisers of the Frontier Research Program, Tokyo.

Muus BEETS  (NL)


Erling SUNDT (CH)


(1916 - 1992, UK)


(1913 - 1994, USA)



Egon Peter KOSTER

(1931 - 2022, NL)


(1936 - 2017, FR)



Patrick MAC LEOD


Gordon BIRCH



(1936 - 2014, NO)









Linda B. BUCK