Chronic pain & endogenous cannabinoids.

Summary

Endogenous cannabinoids represent a potential therapeutic target for intractable pain states, this project will focus on how these agents produce their actions at the cellular level and in models of pain.  

Supervisor(s)

Dr Christopher Vaughan

Research Location

North Shore - Kolling Institute of Medical Research

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

The Cellular Physiology of Pain group within the Pain Management Research Institute focuses on novel therapeutic targets for intractable chronic pain states. One of these states, neuropathic pain, is caused by lesions of the nervous system. The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, has been shown to be effective in alleviating these pain syndromes by acting on an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter system. Recently, a number of agents that modulate the body's own endocannabinoid neurotransmitter system have been identified. We are interested in examining whether these agents are effective in models of chronic pain. We are also interested in the mechanisms by which these agents produce their effects within the central nervous system (CNS). To do this we use whole cell patch clamp recording from CNS neurons in combination with anatomical techniques to examine how cannabinoids alter transmission between neurons which modulate pain.  We are also interested in other agents and receptors involved in pain transmission/modulation, such as TRP channels, serotonin and opioid receptors.  

Additional Information

As part of PMRI and the Kolling Institute you would have access to state of the art electrophysiological, molecular biological and optical techniques and be part of the largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of pain in Australia.  

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Keywords

Pain, analgesics, cannabinoid, endocannabinoid, cannabis, opioid, synaptic transmission, chronic pain, neuropathic pain, inflammatory pain, ion channel, TRPV1, TRPM8, Therapeutics & adverse drug effects, Pain & Trauma, Neuroscience & psychology, Pharmacology & therapeutics.

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 788