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UCSF Professor Wins Nobel Prize for Work on Pain Sensation

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David Julius in his office at the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Photo by Steve Babuljak

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.

Juluis 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.

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A biochemist and molecular biologist, Julius’s 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 Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD, 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.”


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