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David Julius is Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology at UCSF. His lab is interested in the molecular biology of sensory transduction and neurotransmitter action in the mammalian nervous system. One of their goals is to understand the molecular basis of somatosensation - the process whereby we experience touch and temperature - with an emphasis on identifying molecules that detect noxious (pain-producing) stimuli. They are also interested in understanding how somatosensation is altered in response to tissue or nerve injury. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science.