Front Row Lecture Series

The Force is With You: Molecules That Sense the Pressure of Touch, Pain, Blood Flow and More

How do you feel a gentle breeze or the pain of sunburn? For decades, scientists have known about the molecules that allow us to see, smell and taste. Yet the molecules that let us sense touch and pain have remained mysterious—until recently. Ardem Patapoutian’s lab at Scripps Research has recently discovered our bodies’ sensors of touch and pain.

In his Front Row Lecture, Patapoutian shed light on the senses and the unique proteins that let our sensory neurons perceive the outside world. This work represents a fundamental insight into our basic biology and has therapeutic implications for dealing with pain and conditions that range from cardiovascular disease to malaria.

Presented: November 8, 2018