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Research Projects & Initiatives

Below is a list of extramurally-funded research projects and ongoing collaborations.

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Partner: NIH HEAL Initiative (NCATS)

Project Title: hiPSC-based DRG Tissue Mimics on Multi-well Microelectrode Arrays as a TissueChip Model of Acute and Chronic Nociception

Abstract: Chronic pain afflicts up to one in five adults and is the most common cause of long-term disability in the world. Opioids are associated with a high incidence of serious effects and abuse. Moreover, current in vivo and in vitro models used to study nociception and test potential treatments are inadequate. Human-based, pathology-relevant models of nociception are urgently needed to facilitate preclinical development of new non-opioid pain therapeutics. Therefore, we proposed to develop an innovative 3D model of acute and chronic nociception using an hiPSC-based DRG tissue mimic on multi-well MEAs.

Partner: NIH HEAL Initiative (NCATS)

Project Title: Targeted genetic depletion of understudied proteins in hiPSC SNs

Abstract: There are several barriers to the successful identification of novel targets for chronic pain. For example, the need for pharmacology limits the number of targets that can be screened using compound libraries. Furthermore, traditional approaches using in vivo pre-clinical models (e.g. loss of function deletion mice) may be inviable due to developmental defects. We propose to use our hiPSC-based phenotypic screening platform to identify novel targets empirically selected from a subset of understudied kinases, ion channels, and GPCRs for inflammatory pain.

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Partner: Allergan Aesthetics (Abbvie)

Project goal: To develop small molecule-based approaches to treating the peripheral and central components of inflammatory pain.

Adapted from Atmaramani, et al (J. Neurosci. Methods 2020)

Partner: Axogen, Inc.

Project topic: Surgical preparation in symptomatic neuroma formation

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