Americans David Julius, born in 1955 in New York, and Ardem Patapoutian, born in 1967 in Beirut and of Lebanese-Armenian origin, were awarded the prize for their discoveries of temperature and touch receptors. These groundbreaking discoveries have led to an understanding of how heat, cold and mechanical force can trigger the nerve impulses that allow us to perceive and adapt to the surrounding world.
Aziz Moqrich, team leader at IBDM, was Ardem Patapoutian’s first postdoc at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. He contributed greatly to the discoveries related to heat-sensitive receptors such as TRPM8 (Peier, Moqrich et al., Cell 2002) and TRPV3 (Peier et al., Science 2002 and Moqrich et al., Science 2005). He also encouraged his mentor to recruit Bertrand Coste, another young scientist from Marseille whose work at Scripps led to the discovery of the Piezo channels that led to Ardem Patapoutian’s Nobel Prize.
The screenshot shows the video in which Ardem Patapoutian (bottom left) shares the honours and happiness of his Nobel Prize with his former post-docs and students, including Aziz!