A major focus of the Patwardhan lab is translational research into mechanisms of pain and potential treatment. Specific projects include:
- Advancement of an evolutionary conserved mechanism of non-opioid analgesia into humans with high impact chronic pain such as cancer and neuropathic pain
- Identification of biological factors associated with neuropathic pain
- Clinical trials of non-opioid pharmacological agents as well as neuromodulatory devices in chronic pain patients
The approaches employed include in-vivo behavioral assays in various high impact chronic states, biochemical, imaging and genetic editing techniques in animals. Moreover, we also use human donor tissue such as sensory neurons and spinal cord to translate these findings to humans using novel biochemical and genetic techniques. Clinical studies involve longitudinal assessment of various interventions in chronic pain patients.
As research techniques have become highly specialized over the years, it is ever more important to work in collaborative team models where investigators with different expertise come together to take on complex problems such as chronic pain. Our laboratory firmly believes in a ‘team science’ approach and has numerous local, national and international collaborations to investigate chronic pain mechanisms and therapies.