AXEL, RICHARD / Medicine / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research


Medicine / AXEL, RICHARD


University Professor and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Pathology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Research interests

Richard Axel's laboratory is interested in how sensory information is represented in the brain. Olfactory sensory neurons expressing a given receptor project to spatially invariant loci in the brain to create a topographic map of olfactory information. Recent studies suggest that the odorant receptor defines the functional identity of the sensory neuron as well as its target in the brain. The mechanism of receptor choice is therefore central to the establishment and function of the olfactory representation in the brain.

Prizes and awards

1969 : The Johns Hopkins Medical Society Research Award
1983 : The Eli Lilly Award
1983 Member, the National Academy of Sciences
1983 : Member, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1984 : The New York Academy of Sciences Award in Biological and Medical Sciences
1989 : The Richard Lounsbery Award, National Academy of Sciences
1996 : The Unilever Science Award, with Dr. Linda Buck
1997 : New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology
1998 : Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research
1999 : The Alexander Hamilton Award, Columbia University
2001 : NY Academy of Medicine Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Sciences
2003 : The Gairdner Foundation International Award for Achievement in Neuroscience
2003 : The Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize, with Dr. Linda Buck
2003 : Member, the American Philosophical Society


Buck, L., and Axel, R. (1991) A novel multigene family may encode odorant receptors: a molecular basis for odor recognition. Cell, 65: 175-187.

Dulac, C., and Axel, R. (1995) A novel family of genes encoding putative pheromone receptors in mammals. Cell, 83:195-206.

Mombaerts, P.,Wang, F., Dulac,C., Chao, S.K., Nemes, A., Mendelsohn, M. Edmondson, J. and Axel, R. (1996) Visualizing an olfactory sensory map. Cell 87, 675-686.

Vosshall, L.B., Wong, A.M., and Axel R. (2000) An olfactory sensory map in the fly brain. Cell, 102:147-159.

Gogos, J.A., Osborne, J., Nemes, A., Mendelsohn, M., Axel, R. (2000) Genetic ablation and restoration of the olfactory topographic map. Cell, 103:609-620.

Scott, K., Brady, R. Jr, Cravchik, A., Morozov, P., Rzhetsky, A., Zuker, C., and Axel, R. (2001) A chemosensory gene family encoding candidate gustatory and olfactory receptors in Drosophila. Cell, 104:661-673.

Wong, A.M., Wang, J.W.,and Axel R. (2002) Spatial Representation of the Glomerular Map in the Drosophila Protocerebrum. Cell, 109:229-241.

Wang, J.W., Wong, A.M., Flores, J., Vosshall, L.B., and Axel, R. (2003) Two-photon calcium imaging reveals an odor-evoked map of activity in the fly brain. Cell, 112:271-282.

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