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Research groups

A modified glutamate-gated chloride channel GluCl delivered via AAV to the dorsal root ganglion

Greg Weir

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

My research interests centre on understanding sensory neuron biology in health and disease. Sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia are an incredibly heterogeneous population of neurons; tasked with detecting a range of sensations including touch, itch, warmth and nociception. While much knowledge has been accrued as to the molecular profile of neurochemically distinct sensory neurons, the functional roles they play in normal sensation are still unclear. Less still is understood as to which populations contribute to different aspects of pathological pain following inflammation or damage to the nervous system. Better knowledge of the neural circuits underlying normal nociception and pathological pain states will undoubtedly lead to advances in the development of novel and specific analgesics.

I am particularly interested in using new tools available to neuroscience in order to control the activity of discreet neuronal populations. In doing so we can begin to ask fundamental questions as to the role of specifically targeted neurons. We have used a chemogenetic approach to remotely silence sensory neurons in a non-biased manner. This strategy has efficacy in reversing pain-related hypersensitivity in a preclinical nerve injury model. Our current work involves targeting our silencing to discreet populations in order to understand their function in normal and diseased states.