Pain Research Center investigators study molecular mechanisms of perioperative and chronic pain with the goal of improving pain management though discovery of novel therapeutics and treatment designs.
Laboratory research in the Center focuses on the roles of the endogenous peptide endothelin-1, the role of nerve growth factor-stimulated pathways, and central and peripheral nervous system changes accompanying postoperative chronic pain. We are also studying mechanisms of local anesthetic blockade of sodium channel activity, with the goal of identifying longer-acting local anesthetics for postoperative pain management as well as potential chronic and cancer pain treatment. Novel approaches to analgesia, including work on the use of agents such as vanilloids, which can provide long-lasting neural blockade without effect on non-pain sensations, may improve the management of postoperative pain. All these efforts combine animal model, cell culture, and protein structure and interaction studies to highlight new theraputic approaches to improve patient care.
Labs & Principal Investigators
Dr. Kissin's laboratory interests are centered on the pharmacology of anesthetics and analgesics. They have led to studies on preemptive analgesia. Preemptive analgesia is a treatment that prevents establishment of the altered sensory processing that amplifies post-operative pain.
Igor Kissin, M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School.
Professor Gary Strichartz's lab is actively investigating in three areas of persistent pain: 1. the role of receptors for endothelin-1 (ET-1) in abnormal pain from tissue injury, inflammation and cancer, and 2. the mechanisms of chronic post-operative pain, and 3. The changes in the peripheral tissues and in the central nervous system that underlie the development and persistence of chronic post-operative pain.
Gary Stirchartz, Ph.D. is Co-Director of the Pain Research Center and is a Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School.
The overall goals of Dr. Wang’s laboratory are (1) to map the local anesthetic receptor within the voltage-gated Na+ channel and (2) to identify novel drugs that may be applicable as long-acting analgesics for prolonged pain relief.
Ging-Kuo Wang, Ph.D. is a Biochemist, Brigham and Women's Hospital and principal investigator.