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Ardem Patapoutian 

Scripps Research/HHMI      

How do you feel? The Molecules that Sense Touch 

Monday, February 20, 8:00 PM
San Diego Convention Center

Being named the 2023 Biophysical Society Lecturer is the highest annual award bestowed by the Biophysical Society. In addition to presenting the Annual Biophysical Society Lecture, the recipient provides a molecule or figure that depicts his/her research. That figure is used in the background design for that year’s Annual Meeting print and web announcements.

Ardem Patapoutian is a molecular biologist specializing in sensory transduction. His research has led to the identification of novel ion channels and receptors activated by temperature, mechanical force, and increased cell volume. His laboratory has shown that these ion channels play crucial roles in sensing temperature, touch, proprioception, pain, and regulating vascular tone. Patapoutian was born in Lebanon in 1967 and attended the American University of Beirut for one year before he immigrated to The United States in 1986 and became a US citizen. He graduated from UCLA in 1990 and received his Ph.D. at Caltech in the lab of Dr. Barbara Wold in 1996. After postdoctoral work with Dr. Lou Reichardt at UCSF, he joined the faculty of Scripps Research in 2000, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience. He also held a position at the Genomics Institute of The Novartis Research Foundation from 2000-2014. Patapoutian was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience in 2006 and was named an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2014. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016), a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2017) and a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2020). He is a co-recipient of the 2017 Alden Spencer Award from Columbia (with David Ginty), the 2019 Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research (with David Julius), the 2020 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience (with David Julius), the 2021 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (shared with David Julius), and the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with David Julius).

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