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Ardem Patapoutian


Ardem Patapoutian (Photo credit: Nils Lund)

Ardem Patapoutian is a molecular biologist specialising in sensory signalling in the nervous system. He was born in Lebanon and attended the American University of Beirut before coming to the USA in 1986 and becoming a US Citizen.

He did his Bachelor of Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, awarded in 1990, followed by a PhD on developmental biology with Barbara Wold at Caltech, Pasadena. In 1996 he went to the University of California, San Francisco for postdoctoral studies on nerve growth factors with Louis Reichardt.

In 2000 Patapoutian joined the faculty of the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, where he is now Professor of Neuroscience. He has led the identification of ion channels and receptors involved in sensing temperature and touch, and regulation of proprioception and blood pressure.

Patapoutian’s other recent honors and awards include the Alden Spencer Award from Columbia in 2017 (shared with David Ginty) and the 2019 Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research (shared with David Julius). He was named an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2014, and was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2017 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2020.

Listen to Ardem Patapoutian on Alan Alda's Clear+Vivid podcast: