October 4 (WNN) — For their work in the discovery of human receptors for temperature and touch, US-based scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were named on Monday as the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
By detailing how heat, cold and touch can initiate signals in the human nervous system, their discovery has proved important for many physiological processes and pathological conditions.
The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet, which awards the prize for Physiology or Medicine, said in a statement, “Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and our interactions with the world around us. lowers it.”
“David Julius used capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that causes irritation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that respond to heat. Ardem Patapoutian discovered a novel class of sensors used for pressure-sensitive cells that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs.”
The Nobel Prize noted that the successful research by Julius and Patapoutian led to intense research activities and a rapid increase in science’s understanding of how the nervous system senses heat, cold and mechanical stimuli.
A New York native, Julius is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a former postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. He earned his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.
Patapoutian moved to Los Angeles as a child with his parents from Beirut, Lebanon. He is a scientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif., and has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 2014. He served his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology at the University of California, San Francisco as a postdoctoral fellow.
“These successful discoveries triggered intense research activities, leading to a rapid increase in our understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold and mechanical stimuli,” said the Karolinska Institutet. “Laureates identify key missing link in our understanding of the complex interplay between our senses and the environment.”
The Nobel Prizes in additional categories will be awarded for the rest of this week and on Monday. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will present the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday.
The prize for chemistry will be announced on Wednesday, for literature on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The prize for economic science will be given next Monday.