Dr. Andrea Nackley Appointed Co-Chair of Early Career Forum
The American Pain Society invited Dr. Nackley to become co-chair of the Early Career Forum. The appointment starts with co-planning the 2018 Scientific Summit with the current chair, continuing through 2019 when Dr. Nackley will be appointed the chair of the Early Career Forum.
Outstanding Poster Award awarded to Dr. Xin Zhang
Dr. Zhang received the award for his poster entitled, “Activation of Peripheral β2 and β3ARs Leads to Increased Nociceptor Activity” at the Translational Pain Research Symposium, Duke Kunshan University Kunshan, China, June 21-23, 2017.
Summary: Dr. Zhang showed that i) COMT inhibition leads to pain sensitivity, in line with increased ERK phosphorylation in DRG neurons and strengthened nociceptor activity in response to noxious stimuli, ii) COMT-dependent increases in pain sensitivity and nociceptor activity are driven by peripheral β2- and β3ARs, and iii) treatments targeted towards peripheral β2- and β3ARs and downstream effectors may prove useful in the management of functional pain syndromes.
2017 APS Young Investigator Travel Support Program awarded to Dr. Xin Zhang
Dr. Zhang will travel to, and present a poster at, the 36th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society, held May 17-20, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. APS gratefully acknowledges the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) for support of the Young Investigator Travel Award program.
Duke 2017 Summer Neuroscience Program Fellowship awarded to Katie Kanter
Title: Effects of MOR-1K Genetic Variation on Cellular Activity
Summary: 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 The proposed work will continue a previously unpublished study by the Nackley lab, to elucidate alterations to MOR-1K receptor function related to this SNP using a cAMP assay, and ultimately examine changes to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.
NIH/NIDCR Grant # R56DE025296-01 awarded to Dr. Andrea Nackley
Title: Proteins, MicroRNAs and Genes Associated with TMD and Overlapping Conditions
Awarded Date: September 21, 2016
Summary: The Institute of Medicine found that chronic pain affects 100 million Americans, causing extensive economic, social, and personal costs. For some the pain remains localized, while for others the pain spreads to affect multiple anatomic sites, suggesting a common underlying cause. In response to PA-14-244, we plan to use stored biospecimens and existing data from a clinical study of 1,460 adults to determine biological (proteins, microRNAs, and gene polymorphisms), psychosocial (stress, depression, anxiety), and clinical (general health and environmental exposures) factors that contribute to localized and overlapping pain conditions. Further, we will use bioinformatics methods to understand how these factors interact to influence pain, with the long-term goal to identify biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic overlapping pain conditions.
Brittney Ciszek PhD, is the first-place recipient of the 24th Annual Duke Anesthesiology Academic Evening’s Excellence in the Pre-Doctoral Non-Medical Student category.
Bomi Oladosu has been selected to receive the GPSF Excellence in Mentoring Award 2016. The award will be presented at the 18th Annual Graduate School Student Recognition Ceremony, scheduled for April 14 at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
F31 from NIAMS/NIH awarded to Jane Hartung
Title: The Role of TNF-alpha and MAP Kinases in the Maintenance of COMT-Dependent Pain
Date: 09/01/2015 – 08/31/2017
Summary: This proposal utilizes a unique animal model that mimics the genetics and physiology of chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions along with behavioral pharmacologic, immunocytochemical, and live animal imaging techniques to test the hypothesis that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) maintain COMT-dependent pain at cellular and behavioral levels.