Undergraduate Researcher Awarded Fellowship

Katie KanterDuke’s Summer Neuroscience Program (formerly known as NPR) has awarded Katie Kanter, a researcher with Duke Anesthesiology’s The Nackley Lab, a fellowship for her project, titled “Effects of MOR-1K Genetic Variation on Cellular Activity.”

Opioid-induced hyperalgesia manifests as increased pain sensitivity due to acute or chronic opioid administration. A truncated variant in the mu opioid receptor, MOR-1K, has been linked to pain in human genetic studies, and shown to produce cellular excitation, resulting in hyperalgesia rather than analgesia. The Nackley Lab has identified a candidate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the enhancer box regulatory motif on MOR-1K exon 13 in CXB7/ByJ mice, that is predicted to contribute to the increased pain sensitivity observed in this variant compared to 129S6 mice.

The proposed work will continue a previously unpublished study by The Nackley Lab to elucidate alterations to MOR-1K receptor function related to this SNP using a cAMP assay, and ultimately examine changes to transcriptional regulation via a luciferase assay.

The Nackley Lab is part of Duke Anesthesiology’s Center for Translational Pain Medicine. The main objectives of this lab’s research include: 1) To determine the factors that put some people, but not others, at risk for maladaptive chronic pain conditions, 2) to elucidate the mechanism(s) whereby genetic, biological, and environmental factors drive chronic pain, and 3) to improve pharmacologic management of pain.

Chris KeithUndergraduate Researcher Awarded Fellowship