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David Julius, Baruch Minke and Linda Watkins

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 2010

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, made up of Mr. Juan Ignacio Cirac Sasturain, Ms. Flora de Pablo Dávila, Mr. Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiríbar, Mr. Antonio Fernández-Rañada Menéndez de Luarca, Mr. Luis Fernández-Vega Sanz, Mr. Vicente Gotor Santamaría, Ms. Petra Mateos-Aparicio Morales, Mr. Amador Menéndez Velázquez, Mr. Rafael Nájera Morrondo, Mr. César Nombela Cano, Mr. Fernando Ortiz Maslloréns, Ms. Ana Pastor Julián, Mr. Miguel Ángel Pesquera González, Mr. Eduardo Punset Casals, Mr. Manuel Toharia Cortés, chaired by Mr. Enrique Moreno and with Mr. José Antonio Martínez-Álvarez acting as secretary, has unanimously decided to bestow the 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research on the joint candidacy of the US scientists David Julius and Linda Watkins and the Israeli scientist Baruch Minke, recognised worldwide for their innovative studies on pain. These three outstanding researchers in the field of Sensory Neurobiology have made findings that jointly enable a deeper understanding of the cellular and molecular bases of different sensations, especially that of pain.

David Julius is a pioneer in the molecular analysis of nociceptors, having identified TRPV1 as the neuronal receptor of noxious stimuli; Linda Watkins has discovered the participation of glial cells in the mechanisms of pathological pain, while Baruch Minke has characterised TRP channels, the basis of perception and sensorial signalling.

Their research has identified the molecular targets at which to aim a new generation of specific drugs for the selective treatment of different types of pain, especially chronic pain. This opens up promising avenues to ameliorate an ill that affects the quality of life of millions of people and which has always been one of the great challenges faced by medicine.

Oviedo, 2nd June 2010

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