The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet announced today that they have awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch. Julius is a dual member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and Patapoutian is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
The two laureates have explained how heat, cold, and touch can initiate signals in our nervous system. The identified ion channels are important for many physiological processes and disease conditions. Intensive ongoing research includes discoveries focuses on elucidating their functions in a variety of physiological processes. This knowledge is being used to develop treatments for a range of disease conditions, including chronic pain.
The NAM would like to congratulate Drs. Julius and Patapoutian for their incredible research and well-earned recognition.