Future Leaders in Pain Research
2010 Grant Recipient: Steve Davidson, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Reversal of peripheral sensitization by group II metabotropic glutamate receptors
Please state which institution you are currently conducting research.
Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine
How did receiving the Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant impact your career in pain research?
Basic research to understand and alleviate pain has always been my top scientific goal. The Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant provided me with the time and funding to start an independent project as a postdoctoral researcher. This project lead to NIH funding (F32) and has allowed me to continue to focus my research efforts on uncovering the neurobiology of pain and improving pain relief.
What is your current research focus? Briefly describe the importance of this work and how it advances the APS goals, mission, and your own personal development.
Typically pain resolves with time, but in some cases pain can persist and become chronic. The molecular mechanisms that lead to chronic pain and their counterparts, those signals that normally act to promote the resolution of pain, are not well understood. My research is currently aimed at revealing how receptor activated signals induce and reverse membrane hyperexcitability in nociceptive neurons. One way that the important mission of alleviate suffering from pain can be advanced is by promoting endogenous signals that act to limit or reverse hyperexcitability in the neurons that generate pain. My own ambition is to lead in the discovery of these signals and see their development as novel tools for pain relief.
Are you still an APS member? If yes, do you feel that it has been of value to your professional development?
I am a member of APS and I continue to value interactions with other members at meetings and through online communications. I receive career advice and intellectual support for my research from discussions with other members of the APS, and physical meetings have provided me valuable face time with colleagues and mentors.