American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian have bagged the 2021 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. This year the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.
The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian. Dr. David Julius is the professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Ardem Patapoutian is a molecular biologist and neuroscientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California. The Nobel Jury stated that the “groundbreaking discovery” made us “understand how heat, cold and mechanical force can initiate the nerve impulses that allow us to perceive and adapt to the world.”
Dr. Julius studied pungent compounds in chili peppers and spider venom to understand how our bodies sense heat and chemical irritants. Meanwhile, Dr. Patapoutian helped discover a novel class of sensors in our skin that respond to mechanical stimuli, cold and internal organs.
This is not the first award to Dr. David Julis; he had already won a $3 million worth Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2019. When he received the call from the Nobel committee, he thought it was a prank call. “One never really expects that to happen…I thought it was a prank,” he said on Swedish Radio.
Nobel Prize winners will receive a Nobel Prize diploma, a Nobel Prize gold medal, a document detailing the Nobel Prize amount, 10 million Swedish Krona ($1.14 million).