Gheorghe Benga (born January 26, 1944 in Timişoara, Romania) is a professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Iuliu Haţieganu" of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is a member of the Romanian Academy.
In 1986, together with collaborators Octavian Popescu and Victor I. Pop, Benga showed the existence of a protein water channel in the red blood cell membrane. The discovery was published in 1986 in the journals Biochemistry and the European Journal of Cell Biology. Two years later, in 1988, Peter Agre discovered and isolated the same protein which he named aquaporin. In 2003 Agre received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, shared with Roderick MacKinnon.
- Benga G, Popescu O, Pop VI, Holmes RP (1986). "p-(Chloromercuri)benzenesulfonate binding by membrane proteins and the inhibition of water transport in human erythrocytes". Biochemistry. 25 (7): 1535–8. doi:10.1021/bi00355a011. PMID 3011064.
- Benga Gh; Popescu O; Borza Victoria; Pop VI; Muresan A; Mocsy I; Brain A; Wrigglesworth JM (1986). "Water permeability of human erythrocytes. Identification of membrane proteins involved in water transport.". Eur J Cell Biol. 41 (2): 252–262. PMID 3019699.
- Kuchel PW (2006). "The story of the discovery of aquaporins: convergent evolution of ideas--but who got there first?". Cell. Mol. Biol. (Noisy-le-grand). 52 (7): 2–5. PMID 17543213.