Clinical pain places a heavy burden on human productivity and quality of life. Current treatments, especially for chronic pain, are inadequate. Using Drosophila, Geoffrey Ganter, Ph.D.’s laboratory is analyzing pain sensitization, the production of heightened nociceptive sensitivity in response to injury, dysregulation of which is thought to perpetuate chronic pain in humans. One requirement for pain sensitization in the fly is the activity of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) pathway in the nociceptor neurons. BMP signaling components represent attractive targets for novel drugs for the treatment of chronic pain, and therefore a welcome alternative to opioid medications.
Dr. Ganter is Professor of Biology at University of New England.
Dr. Ganter’s laboratory is investigating the mechanisms of nociception using the powerful genetic toolkit of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Pain affects all of our lives in some way, yet we know only a little of how pain works and how to block it. The tiny fly might be able to lead us to the next generation of improved medications for pain in humans.
Audience: Scientific and Medical Community.