Renowned UCSF Pain Researcher Awarded Prestigious Biomedical Research Prize

David Julius, PhD, sits in his lab at UCSF.

By Jeffrey Norris on June 14, 2013

David Julius, PhD, who uses natural molecules found in tarantulas and hot chili peppers to study pain, has been named the winner of the 2013 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research.

Julius, professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Physiology, won for his discovery of the molecular mechanism that controls the sensory perception of temperature, and for his discoveries of this mechanism's role in the sensation of acute and inflammatory pain. These discoveries have significantly advanced the study of pain and may lead to new pain therapies.

He has won numerous prestigious honors and awards, among them the Shaw Prize, the Passano Award, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the Scolnick Prize from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, the Unilever Science Prize and the Klaus Joachim Z├╝lch Neuroscience Prize.

He joined UCSF in 1990, after completing his postdoctoral studies at Columbia University.

The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, which carries a $100,000 prize, was created by Johnson & Johnson to honor the legacy of scientist Paul Janssen (1926-2003), whose work led to the development of more than 80 transformational medicines in several fields, including pain management, psychiatry, infectious disease and gastroenterology. Janssen founded Janssen Pharmaceutica, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1961.

Click here to read more about Julius and the Janssen Award.

Photo by Cindy Chew