The overarching goal of this proposed training program is to integrate interdisciplinary and translational aspects of the current, rich training environment in pain research at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to exposure of trainees to fundamental principles of pain mechanisms and pain presentation, we will establish new program elements (clinical experiences, multi-laboratory projects, courses) that are typically very difficult for individual investigators to support. We are committed to an integrated approach to the study of pain because major breakthroughs in this field can only be achieved through multidisciplinary approaches, and thus will incorporate and facilitate interactions between [1] laboratories (horizontal integration) and [2] researchers and clinicians (vertical integration). Accordingly, horizontal and vertical integration will be essential components of this training program, which will consist of three core elements: 1) Research - Multidisciplinary research projects will not only be encouraged, but expected, as will exposure to clinical management of pain/pain-related problems. These integrations will be achieved through formation of multidisciplinary mentoring committees which will include at least one clinical faculty member among a four-member committee. 2) Theory - Trainees will participate in four required for-credit courses: Mechanisms and Clinical Presentation of Pain, Pain Journal Club, bi-weekly Current Research on Pain presentations, a new course Pain Models - Rationale, Testing and Interpretation as well as the monthly Pain Seminar Series, where trainees interact with prominent pain researchers. 3) Practice - Trainees will be exposed to the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain patients through a 2nd new course - Pain Perspectives - that will provide trainees the opportunity to shadow pain physicians as they interview, diagnose and manage chronic pain patients within the Pain Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Public Health Relevance

Pain is the principal reason for seeking medical attention. It respects no boundaries, is not restricted to any one disease or medical discipline, is distributed across the life span and experienced by all irrespective of status (economic, educational, etc.) or gender. Many tissue insults lead to chronic pain states which are poorly managed because the mechanisms underlying pain are incompletely understood. Thus, there is a compelling need to enhance and broaden the training of the next generation of pain researchers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1)
Program Officer
Korn, Stephen J
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Yilmaz, Eser; Watkins, Simon C; Gold, Michael S (2017) Paclitaxel-induced increase in mitochondrial volume mediates dysregulation of intracellular Ca2+ in putative nociceptive glabrous skin neurons from the rat. Cell Calcium 62:16-28
Glasgow, Nathan G; Povysheva, Nadezhda V; Azofeifa, Andrea M et al. (2017) Memantine and Ketamine Differentially Alter NMDA Receptor Desensitization. J Neurosci 37:9686-9704
Elliott, Peter; G'Sell, Max; Snyder, Lindsey M et al. (2017) Automated acoustic detection of mouse scratching. PLoS One 12:e0179662
Hachisuka, Junichi; Baumbauer, Kyle M; Omori, Yu et al. (2016) Semi-intact ex vivo approach to investigate spinal somatosensory circuits. Elife 5:
Yilmaz, Eser; Gold, Michael S (2016) Paclitaxel-induced increase in NCX activity in subpopulations of nociceptive afferents: A protective mechanism against chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy? Cell Calcium 60:25-31
Snyder, Lindsey M; Kuzirian, Marissa S; Ross, Sarah E (2016) An Unexpected Role for TRPV4 in Serotonin-Mediated Itch. J Invest Dermatol 136:7-9
Huang, Huizhen; Kuzirian, Marissa S; Cai, Xiaoyun et al. (2016) Generation of a NK1R-CreER knockin mouse strain to study cells involved in Neurokinin 1 Receptor signaling. Genesis 54:593-601
Saloman, Jami L; Scheff, Nicole N; Snyder, Lindsey M et al. (2016) Gi-DREADD Expression in Peripheral Nerves Produces Ligand-Dependent Analgesia, as well as Ligand-Independent Functional Changes in Sensory Neurons. J Neurosci 36:10769-10781
Cai, Xiaoyun; Huang, Huizhen; Kuzirian, Marissa S et al. (2016) Generation of a KOR-Cre knockin mouse strain to study cells involved in kappa opioid signaling. Genesis 54:29-37
Baumbauer, Kyle M; DeBerry, Jennifer J; Adelman, Peter C et al. (2015) Keratinocytes can modulate and directly initiate nociceptive responses. Elife 4:

Showing the most recent 10 out of 20 publications