His research has led to the identification of new ion channels and receptors activated by temperature, mechanical force, and increases in cell volume. His laboratory has shown that these ion channels play crucial roles in sensing temperature, touch, and pain, in proprioception, and in regulating vascular tone.
Patapoutian was born in Lebanon in 1967 and attended the American University of Beirut for one year before emigrating to The United States in 1986. He became a US citizen, graduating from UCLA in 1990 and obtaining a PhD from Caltech in 996, for his work in the laboratory of Dr. Barbara Wold.
Following his postdoctoral work with Dr. Lou Reichardt at UCSF, he joined the Scripps Research Institute faculty in 2000, and is currently 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 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2020). He received the 2017 Alden Spencer Award from Columbia University (together 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).
2021 : Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with David Julius)