David Julius, a professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, pictured in 2019, was awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology for Medicine with Ardem Patapoutian.<ins> Their work on identifying how people sense heat, cold, touch and their own bodily movements has opened the door to the development of non-opioid painkillers.</ins> (Noah Berger/UCSF via New York Times)

David Julius, a professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, pictured in 2019, was awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology for Medicine with Ardem Patapoutian. Their work on identifying how people sense heat, cold, touch and their own bodily movements has opened the door to the development of non-opioid painkillers. (Noah Berger/UCSF via New York Times)

UCSF professor awarded Nobel Prize for Medicine

David Julius’ work focuses on how bodies sense heat, cold and chemical irritants

A physiology professor from University of California, San Francisco, has won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for work on pain sensation.

David Julius is professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at UC San Francisco and the Morris Herzstein Chair in Molecular Biology and Medicine.

Julius shares the award with Ardem Patapoutian “for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch,” according to the Nobel committee in Stockholm, Sweden. Patapoutian is a molecular biologist and neuroscientist at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.

A biochemist and molecular biologist, Julius’ work has focused on how our bodies sense heat, cold and chemical irritants, leading to new insights about the fundamental nature of pain and new targets for pain therapy, according to a news release from UC San Francisco.

“Congratulations to David for succeeding on the highest scale,” said Dr. Talmadge E. King, Jr., dean of the School of Medicine. “At UCSF, our ability to take excellent care of patients is based on a strong foundation of science, and of researchers like David who have dedicated their lives to discovery. Just as his research opens up new avenues for drug development, his commitment to the education and mentorship of future scientists inspires those around him to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

— Bay City News

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