The goal of this ?Career Development Award? is to provide Dr. Samineni with a mentored neurourology research experience and to successfully bridge transition from mentored research to a career as an independent investigator as a neurourologist. Dr. Samineni?s primary goal in the next five years is to establish as a successful independent scientist conducting neurourology research that provides mechanistic insights into our understanding of chronic bladder pain and to obtain R01 level funding. The long-term goal of Dr. Samineni?s research is to independently lead a research group that investigates new avenues for relief of chronic bladder pain and identify new therapeutic opportunities through furthering our mechanistic understanding of chronic bladder pain. To achieve this goal, Dr. Samineni is proposing a project that provides him with significant training in neurourology. Training plan includes rigorous bench work under the primary supervision of Dr. Gereau and Dr. Andriole, attending urology focused grand rounds and didactic series, presentations at national meetings, and training in personnel management, grantsmanship and scientific writing. This training will enable Dr. Samineni to become an independent scientist in urology and allow him to be competitive in obtaining an independent NIH research grant (R01). The institutional environment for career development at Washington University and in the Department of Anesthesiology and Urology is exceptional. Dr. Evers (Chief of Anesthesiology) pledged his full department commitment. To achieve Dr. Samineni?s goal, he is proposing a project that provides him with significant training by examining how maladaptive plasticity in the central amygdala (CeA) circuit contributes to chronic bladder pain in IC/ BPS. Specifically, Dr. Samineni will examine necessity and sufficiency of these circuits in mediating chronic bladder pain. To test this, Dr. Samineni will use optogenetic techniques to control the activity of the CeA neurons and determine their relative contribution to bladder pain. This proposal combines Dr. Samineni?s prior expertise using rodent in vivo work, and pushes forward an innovative combination of genetics, electrophysiology and circuit dissecting tools. Successful completion of these studies will identify the maladaptive mechanisms in these circuits for processing chronic bladder pain and will provide new avenues for developing novel therapies and treatments that would be beneficial for the treatment of chronic bladder pain. Completion of this K01 award will train Dr. Samineni with comprehensive, multidisciplinary training in behavioral pharmacology, optogenetics and whole-cell slice electrophysiology. Furthermore, additional mentored training via the K01 mechanism will allow Dr. Samineni to bridge the gap in his training with regard to skills relevant to running an independent research program.
This proposal will study brain neural circuits mediating chronic bladder pain behavior. Identifying neural mechanisms that underlie chronic bladder pain will provide new opportunities for developing novel therapies that would be beneficial for the treatment of IC/BPS patients.