San Diego (KGTV)- A local researcher was praised after receiving the Nobel Prize, one of the top honors in the world.
"I still haven't processed it after this many hours. It's extremely flattering," says Dr. Adem Patapoutian.
He is being recognized for his finings at the Scripps Research Institute. Adem Patapoutian and David Julius, a researcher with UC San Fransisco, have been awarded the Nobel Prize of Physiology.
It is known that humans have a sense of touch, but the scientists discovered how it works.
"Sense of touch and pain do something totally different but, it was unknown how they do it," says Patapoutian. "They translate physical forces, temperature, pressure, into chemical signals that the cells will understand."
The Nobel Committee says discoveries like these set us up for a deeper understanding of the human body.
"It concerns one of our senses, and we all know, you know, how important it is to sense our surroundings for our survival," says Thomas Perlmannn, Secretary-General of the Nobel Committee.
"Because they're pressure sensors, we have also found they play an important role in regulating blood pressure," says Patapoutian. "This is how you know when your bladder is full. Anything mechanical going on in your body, these are the sensors that help you appreciate what is going on."
Dr. Patapoutian joined the Scripps team in 2000. During a virtual press conference Monday, the President of Scripps Research Institute thanked Dr. Patapoutian for his contributions.
"Not only is he an extraordinary scientist, he's a wonderful mentor to his students and colleagues," says Peter Schultz. "Ardem has played a major role in building the terrific neuroscience department we have here at Scripps today."
Patapoutian says he believes the findings will only lead to more discoveries.
"It's a great day to celebrate science and what science can do."