Nobel-winning neuroscientist Ardem Patapoutian named Honorary Doctor of Yerevan State Medical University

Nobel Prize laureate Ardem Patapoutian was named Honorary Doctor of the Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU) at a solemn session of the Academic Council today.

The US-based Lebanese-Armenian neurobiologist, Professor at the Dorris Neuroscience Center at the Scripps Research Institute in California, and a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Ardem Patapoutian was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.

In his opening remarks YSMU Rector Armen Muradyan emphasized that the day is special, as the only Nobel Prize laureate of Armenian descent will deliver a speech in the hall of the century-old university.

The scholar was also named into the Advisory Board of the COBRAIN Scientific-Educational Center for Fundamental Brain Research. Two of the seven Board members are now Nobel Prize laureates.

A heir of Armenian Genocide survivors, Ardem Patapoutian revolutionized the field of neurobiology.

“What we have done is basic science just to discover how we sense touch, pain, blood pressure, etc. Anything has to do with pressure. But these scientific discoveries will take ten0twenty years to translate into hopefully future medicine, whether it is to block chronic pain or regulate blood pressure, or other areas we didn’t think about right now,” the scientist told reporters at the Yerevan State Medical University.

“The beauty of basic science is that the translation will come with time and in directions that we might not have thought about early on,” he added.

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