The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is awarded to David Julius (University of California, San Francisco) and Ardem Patapoutian (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) for their independent discoveries of sensory receptors for temperature and pressure, respectively.
While the mechanisms for smell and vision have long been described, a specific molecular understanding for how physical properties like temperature and pressure are detected and encoded into electrical signals the brain can process had been lacking. Over the past two decades, Julius and Patapoutian have independently described the molecular mechanisms that underpin sensitivities to temperature and pressure, as well as pain, and provided new insights into human physiology and disease.
Congratulations to the laureates!
Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius
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About The Kavli Prize
The Kavli Prize is a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and The Kavli Foundation (US). The Kavli Prize honours scientists for breakthroughs in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience that transform our understanding of the very big, the very small and the very complex. Three million-dollar prizes are awarded every other year in each of the three fields. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters selects the laureates based on recommendations from three prize committees whose members are nominated by The Chinese Academy of Sciences, The French Academy of Sciences, The Max Planck Society of Germany, The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and The UK’s Royal Society. First awarded in 2008, The Kavli Prize has honoured 54 scientists from 13 countries – Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
For more detailed information on The Kavli Prize, the 2020 laureates and their work, visit www.kavliprize.org.