Ardem Patapoutian has been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for his groundbreaking discovery of pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation.

Ardem Patapoutian has revealed it was his 92-year-old father who first informed him that he had won the Nobel Prize. The Nobel laureate made the statement in an interview with

Asked what was his response when he first received the call from Thomas Perlmann, Secretary-General of the Nobel Committee, Ardem Patapoutian said: "I had do not disturb on my phone actually, so, I didn't get his [Perlmann's] phone calls and somehow, he found my father who is 92-years-old and lives in Los Angeles and he [father] called me and so I heard it first from him which is very special."

Describing the work by Patapoutian and fellow Nobel laureate David Julius, Thomas Perlmann was quoted as saying, "This really unlocks one of the secrets of nature. It's actually something that is crucial for our survival, so it's a very important and profound discovery."

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Molecular biologist Ardem Patapoutian was one of the two scientists who were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for their groundbreaking work on how the human body perceives temperature and touch.

Born in Beirut in 1967, Patapoutian (54) is based at Scripps Research Institute at La Jolla, California.

According to the Nobel Committee, Patapoutian found pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation.

Asked what led him to ask the right questions, Ardem Patapoutian said, "In science, many times it is the things that we take for granted that are of high interest. And as for the field of sense and pain, it was kind of the big elephant in the room where we knew they existed, we knew they did something very different than how most other cells communicate with each other which is too chemical and it was a difficult question to answer because technically it was difficult."

"Identifying that this was a big unknown and ignored, things like sense of proprioception, your sense of where your limbs are compared to your body, most people don't even think about its importance. Without it, you cannot walk, you cannot stand up and so it is a very important part of physiology," the Nobel laureate added.