Richard Axel, M.D. are United States scientists who examine the olfactory system with the nose. The results of his research with Linda B. Buck won the Nobel prize in the field of physiology or medicine in 2004. Richard Axel was born in New York City, on July 2, 1946. He Iulus from Stuyvesant Middle School in 1963, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1967 from Columbia University, as well as a doctorate in medicine in 1971 from Johns Hopkins University. He returned to Columbia, and became a full professor in 1978.

In the late 1970s, Richard Axel and microbiologist, Saul J. Silverstein, and geneticist Michael H. Wigler, discovered the technique of cotransformation, a process that allows foreign DNA to be inserted into host cells to make certain proteins. This technique is the basis of DNA recombination for pharmaceutical and biotechnology sciences.

The main research of Richard Axel is about the way the brain defines the sense of smell, and specifically maps the part of the brain that is sensitive to specific olfactory receptors. In a paper published in 1991, Buck and Axel cloned olfactory receptors, and showed that these receptors were groups of G protein receptor pairs.

By analyzing mouse DNA, they assessed that there were about a thousand different genes at olfactory receptors in the mammalian genome. This research paves the way for genetic and molecular analysis of olfactory mechanisms.

In subsequent studies, Buck and Axel have shown that each olfactory receptor nerve cell expresses only one type of receptor protein, and input from all nerve cells expressed at the same receptor will be collected in the glomerulus on the olfactory bulb.