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Current Research

 

Research Goals

Several chronic diseases are accompanied by strong, long-lasting pain. A majority of chronic pain diseases are not understood well as yet and cannot be controlled by conventional analgesics or non-pharmacological approaches. Therefore, there is a major need to develop novel therapeutic principles.

We aim at understanding molecular mechanisms underlying chronic pain resulting from long-lasting inflammation or cancer. A major focus is laid on addressing signalling mechanisms which underlie activity-dependent changes in primary sensory neurons transmitting pain (nociceptors) and their synapses in the spinal dorsal horn. Our current work spans molecular, genetic, behavioural, electrophysiological and imaging approaches in vitro as well as in vivo in rodent models of pathological pain.

Areas of research include:

  1. Mechanisms of plasticity at synapses between nociceptors and spinal neurons in states of peripheral inflammation
  2. Conditional deletion of gene encoding pain-relevant proteins, including receptors, kinases, G-proteins and ion-channels, specifically in peripheral nociceptive neurons
  3. Molecular mediators of pain caused by bone cancer and tumor-nerve interactions
  4. Molecular mediators of pain resulting from visceral disorders
  5. Structural plasticity of nociceptive nerves in disease states
  6. Plexin-semaphorin interactions in neural development

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