Jean-Pierre Changeux
  • 1982 Wolf Prize in Medicine


French neuroscientist known for his research in the structure and function of proteins (with a
focus on the allosteric proteins), to the cognitive functions. He was awarded the 1982 Wolf Prize in Medicine for “the isolation, purification and characterization of the acetylcholine receptor.”

Education and Work Experience

1964, Doctorat d'Etat de Sciences Naturelles, Institut Pasteur
1965-1966, Postdoctoral fellow, UC Berkeley
1972-2006, Director of Unit of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute Pasteur
2012-2022, International Faculty of Kavli Institute for Brain & Mind, UC San Diego

Honors and Awards

1982, Wolf Prize in Medicine
2001, Balzan Prize (for Cognitive Neuroscience)
2007, NAS Award in the Neurosciences
2018, Albert Einstein World Award of Science

Major Academic Achievements

The research of Jean-Pierre Changeux has centered on the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the recognition of chemical signals and their transduction into biological activity. He has studied these mechanisms ranging from the metabolism of bacterial cells to the complex physiological and pharmacological modulation of higher cognitive functions of the brain. Through his study, Jean-Pierre Changeux was able
to apply the concept of allosteric protein specifically to the receptor for acetylcholine involved in synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction. Throughout the past 40 years has revolutionized neuroscience by firmly rooting the functions of the brain, both at the cellular and at higher levels, in basic molecular mechanisms.