Our aim is to gain a better understanding of the response of the peripheral nervous system to injury in order to develop strategies to promote peripheral nerve repair and to prevent the development of neuropathic pain. To do this we employ a variety of multi-disciplinary techniques ranging from transgenic models to human psychophysical studies and genetics.
Nerve injury can have devastating consequences resulting in loss of motor and sensory function as well as neuropathic pain. Our aim is to understand the pathophysiology of neural injury in order to develop strategies to maximise functional recovery and prevent deleterious outcomes such as persistent pain.
An important consequence of neural injury is altered signalling between neurons, glia and immune cells. We are investigating the molecules mediating such signalling and their role in neural repair and the development of neuropathic pain. This is achieved by transcriptional analysis, the use of transgenic technology to ablate signalling components in adulthood and studying model systems in vitro. In patients we are trying to develop a better understanding of how to stratify patients with nerve injury and monitor changes in function.
In relation to neuropathic pain we are studying the genetic basis of inherited pain syndromes, how gene variants in ion channels impact on channel biophysics and sensory neuron function. We are also developing the use of human induced pleuripotent stem cells as a means of studying pathophysiology. Finally, we have been devloping novel chemogenetic means to silence specific sensory neuron populations.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: We have an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist (closing date 24 February 2020).
PRIZE: Congratulations to Steven Middleton for winning the Year 3 Thomas Willis Poster Prize in 2019.