On October 4, 2021, the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian. David Julius discovered the temperature receptor, TRPV1 ion channel, and Ardem Patapoutian discovered the pressure receptor, PIEZO ion channel.
Their discoveries explain how we perceive temperature and touch, leading to a “revolution” in neuroscience and providing new insights into human physiology and disease.
David Julius used capsaicin from chili peppers to identify TRPV1, an ion channel activated by painful heat. Credit: The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet