Current Research on Pain (CROP) 2023

Share your research with the community!                                             The Current Research on Pain is a forum for trainees to present their research and receive feedback from members of the Pain Center. It is attended all trainees and Pain Center faculty. All are welcome to attend. Students are welcome to take this as a one-credit class (MSNBIO 2682). Meetings are every other Thursday at noon in BST 1495. Each semester, one trainee receives a $100 prize for Best Research Presentation. For more information, contact Becky Seal (

Click the Button Below to Upload the Spring 2023 CROP Schedule Into Your Calendar:

Current Research on Pain Spring 2023 Schedule

Jan 17                 Pulkit Grover

Non-invasive modulation of neuronal activity in HUMANS to (potentially) modulate pain

Jan 31                 Sam Noh (Seal Lab)

An unexpected player in the circuitry for mechanical allodynia revealed through studies of diabetic neuropathy

Feb 14                Ben Alter

Mechanisms and Translational Applications of Endogenous Pain Modulation

Feb 28               Raina Rhoades (Xu Lab)

Analysis of Mouse Gait for the Investigation of Pain

Mar 14               Alex Lee (Seal Lab)

Investigating function of dorsal column nuclei in colon nociception

Mar 28              Ariel Epouhe (Albers Lab)

The role of neuroimmune and epithelial communication in colonic inflammation

April 18             Jordyn Ting (Weber Lab)

Aα/β Fiber Activity Suppression During Continuous Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

May 2                Tayler Sheahan (Ross Lab)

Visualizing the spinal coding of itch

May 16              Adam Brandner (Farris/Taylor Labs)

Understanding the mechanisms underlying Chronic Alcohol Withdrawal Induced Pain

May 30            Abby Hellman (Taylor Lab)

The Meeting of Two Labs

June 6               Abby Cui (Ross Lab)

June 13             Isabel Bleimeister (Ross Lab)

Previous Current Research on Pain Presentations

Fall 2022

Aug 30 - Nicole Scheff

MOR Signaling in Oral Cancer: implications of morphine analgesics in cancer immunotherapy treatment

Sept 13 - Sarah Ross

The functional and anatomical characterization of three spinal output pathways

Sept 27- Emanuel Loeza Alcocer (Gold lab)

Modulation of GABA receptors in peripheral nervous system for therapeutic outcomes

Oct 11 - Charlie Warwick (Ross/Koerber lab)

Population imaging of central sensitization

Oct 25 - Paramita Basu (Taylor lab)

Neuropeptide Y2 receptors in sensory neurons tonically suppress nociception and itch, but facilitate post-surgical and neuropathic pain

Nov 8 - Eason Xiao

The role of neuropilin1 in PDAC progression and cancer-related pain

Nov 29 - Talia Adi (Gold lab)

The role of meningeal immune cells in the efficacy of CGRP-based migraine therapies

Dec 13 - Ruby Holland (Ross lab)

KOR-dependent inhibition of genetically and anatomically diverse VTA neurons drives multiple dimensions of opioid withdrawal

Previous Current Research Presentations

Spring 2022

January 11 - Kelly Smith (Ross Lab)

Using Calcium imaging to look at spinal cord networks

January 25 - Brian Williams

Multimodal Perineural Analgesia: Concluding a 15-year Pursuit – and Implications for Total Joint Arthroplasty

February 8 - Nicole Scheff

CGRP signaling in oral cancer progression and tumor-associated inflammation

February 22 - Yanmei Qi (Taylor Lab)

Spinal MOR neurons contribute to nerve injury-induced hypersensitivity

March 29 - Jane Hartung (Gold Lab)

Ion Channels in Human Sensory Neurons: Familiar Faces and Novel Features

April 5 - Jeremy Gedeon (Gold Lab)

Role of Axonal Translation in the Upregulation of Nav1.1 following Nerve Injury

April 19 - Ariel Epouhe (Albers Lab)

A Tale of Two Colons: Neuroimmune and Neuroepithelial Communication

April 26 - Tayler Sheahan (Ross Lab)

Identification of itch spinal neuron networks and their inhibition by kappa opioid signaling

May 10 - Alex Lee (Seal lab)

Anatomical and functional characterization of dorsal column nuclei circuitry including dorsal horn projection neurons that bifurcate to also innervate VPL thalamus

Fall 2021

Sept 7 - Heather Allen (Kolber Lab)

CGRP driven lateralization of pain modulation by the central amygdala

Oct 5 - Emanuel Loeza-Alcocer

GABA treatment decreases visceral pain in a mouse model of colitis

Oct 19 - Sydney Lamerand (Taylor Lab)

Evaluating S1PR1 as a Target for Neuropathic Pain Relief at the Spinal and Supraspinal Levels

Nov 2 – Sept 21 – Haichao Chen (Ross Lab)

The function of two divergent spinal output neurons in nociception and sensorimotor

Nov 16 - Tyler Nelson (Taylor Lab)

Neuropeptide Y Y1 Receptor-expressing Neurons are Drivers of Neuropathic Pain

Nov 30 - Kelly Smith (Ross Lab)

Using calcium imaging to look at spinal cord networks

Dec 7 - Jamie Moy (Gold Lab)

Spring 2021

January 19th - Charlie Warwick (Ross/Koerber Lab)

Cell-type Identification by Ca2+-coupled Activity through Drug Activation (CICADA) in the ex vivo spinal dorsal horn

February 2 – Valerio Tonelli

Deep Phenotyping of Low Back Pain

February 16 - Kim Meerschaert (Davis Lab)

The role of ExPAN to myenteric neuron communication in colon dysmotility following inflammation

March 2nd -  Jeremy Gedeon (Gold Lab)

Nerve injury-induced changes in voltage-gated sodium channels in trigeminal and somatic nerves

March 16 – Kristen Smith-Edwards (Davis Lab)

Modeling intercellular interactions that generate rhythmic colonic motor patterns: a biologist’s perspective

March 30 - Kayla Nguyen (Taylor Lab)

Peripheral sensitization and central neuropathic pain in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model for multiple sclerosis (MS)

April 13 - Ariel Epouhe (Albers Lab)

Sensory Neuron Activity and the Immune Response in the Colon

April 27th – Heather Allen (Kolber Lab)

CGRP Lateralization of the CeA in Bladder Pain- and Beyond?

May 11 – David Ferreira (Seal Lab)

 Cholecystokinin-dependent Spinal and Peripheral Circuitry Underlying Persistent Pain

May 25 – Paramita Basu (Taylor Lab)

Sex differences in protein kinase A signaling of the latent postoperative pain sensitization that is masked by kappa opioid receptors in spinal cord

Previous Current Research Schedules

Fall 2020

August 25th - Jami Saloman (Saloman Lab)

Neuro-immune interactions: regulating inflammation, pain, and cancer

Sept 8th – Charles Jonassaint

Redesigning the Pain Assessment Conversation: 
How we can leverage human centered design and technology to improve care for pain patients

Sept 22nd - Eileen  Nguyen (Ross Lab)

A descending medullary pathway for pain

Oct 6th -  Nicole Scheff

Exploring the new field of cancer neurobiology

Oct 20th – Ellyn Dunbar (Whitcomb Lab)

Pain and Genetic Psychiatric Risk in Pancreatitis

Nov 17th - Andy Cooper (Taylor Lab)

The RVM drives hypersensitivity during latent sensitization, and upregulation of NPY in primary afferents is not required for neuropathic pain.

Nov 24th - Pranav Prasoon (Taylor Lab)

Transcriptional Profile of Spinal cord and Dorsal root ganglia in a murine model of latent sensitization: Using Bulk RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis

Dec 1st – Marsha Ritter Jones (Albers Lab)

The function of neuronal derived MD-1

Spring 2020

Jan 14th - Brad Taylor (Taylor Lab)
Long-term activation of spinal opioid analgesia after inflammation

Jan 28th - Keith Vogt
Memory Modulation by Pain and Anesthetics

Feb 4th - Chris Norris (Taylor Lab)
Endocannabinoid Involvement in Latent Sensitization

Feb 11th - Shari Rogal
Pain Management for Patients with Cirrhosis: Pitfalls and Paradigm Shifts

Feb 18th - Kristen Edwards (Davis Lab)
Extrinsic modulation of enteric circuits in colon health and disease

Mar 3rd - Tayler Sheahan (Ross Lab)
NK1R antagonists for the treatment of chronic itch: Where’s the action?

Mar 10th - Manisha Jlamb
When End Stage Renal Disease Complicates the Management of Pain

Mar 17th - Jorge Pineda (Gold Lab)
Ionic Mechanisms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Mar 24th - PRF Forum

Mar 31st - Jane Hartung (Gold Lab)
CaVeats" between human and rodent voltage gated calcium channels

April 7th - Cynthia Arokiaraj (Seal Lab)
The Cellular and Molecular Architecture of the Macaque Dorsal Horn

April 14th - Charlie Warwick (Ross/Koerber Lab)
Calcium imaging in an ex vivo spinal cord preparation to address important questions in the somatosensory field

April 21st - Ariel Epouhe (Albers Lab)
Investigating Neuro-immune Communication in Colonic Sensory Fibers

April 28th - Heather Allen (Kolber Lab)
CGRP drives central amygdala lateralization in the context of bladder pain

May 5th - Special Webinar: Webinar -  Pain: Communicating without Increasing the Hurt with Alan Alda, Ted Price, Alfonso Romero-Sandoval and co-moderators, Greg Carbonetti, and Laura Lindenfeld. Register here:

May 12th - Karen Clark (Gold Lab)
The influence of sex and stress on sympathetic regulation of dural neuroimmune activity

May 19th - Tyler Nelson (Taylor Lab)
Uncovering Spinal Neuropeptide Y Receptor Targets for the Control of Neuropathic Pain

May 26th - David Ferreira (Seal Lab)
Identification of Cholecystokinin-dependent Spinal and Peripheral Circuitry Underlying Persistent Pain and Morphine Analgesia

June 9th -  Eileen Nguyen (Ross Lab)
Cancelled - return to work!!!

June 23rd -  Haichao Chen (Ross Lab)
Spinal-hypothalamus projection neurons

Previous Research Schedule Fall 2019

Sept. 5th - Laura Ellen Ashcraft
Primary Care Provider Perceptions of Evidence-Based Chronic Pain Management

Sept. 19th - Emanuel Loeza-Alcocer (Gold Lab)
Peripherally restricted GABA-A receptor agonists for the treatment of visceral pain

Oct. 3rd - Sarah Najjar (Davis Lab)
The Role of the Colon Epithelium in Visceral Pain

Oct. 17th - Jamie Moy (Gold Lab)
Distribution of functional opioid receptor subtypes in human DRG neurons

Oct. 31st - Andy Cooper (Taylor Lab)
21 days later… the role of the RVM in latent pain sensitization

Nov. 14th - Eileen Nguyen (Ross Lab)
Cellular basis of morphine-induced itch

Dec. 5th - Hailey Bulls ( New faculty)
Navigating Cancer Pain Management During the Opioid Crisis

Previous Current Research Schedule Spring 2019

Jan. 17th - Stephanie Puig (Gutstein Lab)
Peripheral opioid receptors in the development of tolerance

Jan. 24th - Jorge Pineda (Gold Lab)
Ionic mechanisms of trigeminal neuralgia

Feb. 7th - Brian Edwards (Davis Lab)
Sympathetic regulation of colon function

Feb. 21st - David Ferreira (Seal Lab)
Involvement of CCKergic system on mechanical hypersensitivity 

March 7th - Jane Hartung (Gold Lab)
Using GCaMP6 for measuring neuronal activity in the trigeminal ganglion

March 21st -Eileen Nguyen (Ross Lab)
Cell-type specific modulation of RVM neurons in nociceptive behaviors

April 25th -Charles Warwick (Koerber/Ross Lab)
Functional categorization of the spinal dorsal horn

May 23rd - Tayler Sheahan (Ross Lab)
Dissecting the role of NK1R spinal neurons in itch

June 6th - Marsha Ritter Jones (Albers Lab)
Nurturin, MrgprD+ neurons and MD-1

June 13th - Diogo Francisco Santos (Taylor Lab)
NMDAR subunits GluN2A, GluN2B and GluN3 drive latent sensitization and the endogenous analgesic synergism between mu opioid and Y1 receptor

Previous Current Research Schedule Fall 2018

Sept. 6th - Jonathan Cohen (Kaplan lab)
TRPV1 Nociceptors are Sufficient for Cutaneous Type-17 Inflammation

Sept. 20th - Jamie Moy (Gold lab)
Activity-dependent nociceptor sensitization

Oct. 4th - Ghanshyan Sinha (Taylor lab)
Dorsal horn neurophysiology of latent pain sensitization and its inhabition by neuropeptide receptors

Oct. 18th - Kim Meerschaert (Davis lab)
Differentiating the role of vagal and spinal afferents in proximal colon nociception

Nov. 1st - Cheryl Hillery
Novel Mechanisms of Pain in Sickle Cell Disease: Insights from Sickle Mice

Nov. 15th - Yan Xu
Manipulating glycine receptor functions to treat pain

Nov. 29th - Jami Saloman (Davis lab)
Neuroimmunology of pancreatic tumorigenesis

Dec. 13th - Junichi Hachisuka (Koerber/Ross lab)
Spinoparabrachial pathway for cold sensation

Previous Current Research Schedule Spring 2018

Jan. 4th - Michael Chiang (Ross lab) 
Lateral parabrachial nucleus mediates separable aspects of the nociceptive response

Jan. 18th - Jessie Merlin (Medicine)
Chronic Pain in People Living with HIV: State of the Science 

Feb. 15th - Caroline Oppenheimer (Psych)
Associations among social pain, physical pain, and risk for self-injurious behaviors

March 1st - Yehui Zhu (Nursing)
Musculoskeletal Symptoms with Endocrine Therapy for Breast Cancer

March 15th - Lillian Laemmle (Kinchington Lab)
Probing the genetics underlying VZV latency, reactivation, and pain

March 29th - Cynthia Arokiaraj (Seal Lab)
Somatosensory Role of Cholecystokinin in the Non-Human Primate Dorsal Horn

April 12th - Ben Kolber (Duquesne)
Exploration of Exercise Analgesia in Humans

April 26th - Jillian Weeks (Sved Lab)
Modeling nicotine use in chronic pain patients

May 10th - Marsha Ritter-Jones (Albers Lab)
Neurturin, MrgprD-expressing neurons, and immunity

May 24th - Emanuel Loeza (Gold Lab)
Peripheral GABA receptors regulate colonic afferent excitability and visceral nociception

June 7th - Sarah Najjar (Albers Lab)
Epithelial-neuronal signaling in the colon: implications for visceral pain

June 21th - Suzanne Doolan (Taylor/Doolan Lab)
Targeting spinal calcium permeable AMPA receptors in latent central sensitization and chronic pain

Previous Current Research Schedule Fall 2017

Sept. 7th - Stephanie Puig (Gutstein lab)
PDGFR-β signaling mediates Morphine Tolerance in the spinal cord and in the periphery

Sept. 21st - Nam Vo 
Intervertebral disc degeneration and associated low back pain

Oct. 5th - Junichi Hachisuka (Ross lab)
Excitatory interneuron network inducing wind-up

Oct. 12th - Ben Alter 
Modulating pain through learning and expectation

Oct. 26th - Brain Day

Nov 9th - Jane Hartung (Gold lab)
Stress, traumatic brain injury and headache!

Nov 30th - Marta Pecina 
Treatment expectancy modulation of pain and emotion

Dec. 7th - Jorge Pineda (Gold lab) 
Mechanisms underlying the therapeutic efficacy of carbamazepine in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia

Dec. 14th - Kristen Smith-Edwards (Davis lab)  
Mapping functional connections in the enteric nervous system                                                                                                                            

Previous Current Research Schedule Spring 2017

Feb. 2nd - Tara Edwards (Kaplan lab)
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? How peripheral neurons detect signals from Candida albicans

Feb. 16th - David Levinthal
A neural basis for mind-body interactions in health and disease: New insights into an old problem

March 2nd - Sarah Najjar (Albers lab)
Optogenetic Investigation of Epithelial-Neuronal Signaling in the Colon

March 16th - Emanuel Loeza (Gold lab)
Modulation of colonic afferent's excitability by GABA receptors

March 30th - Marsha Ritter Jones
Neurturin in neural-immune communication

April 13th -Nate Glasgow (Urban lab)
Mechanisms of biophysical diversity in olfactory bulb mitral and tufted cells

April 27th - Ben Warner (Kinchington lab)
A growth conditional varicella-zoster virus for study in the rat pain model of postherpetic neuralgia

May 11th - Jami Saloman (Davis lab)
Can NGF sequestration slow pancreatic cancer?

June 8th - Michael Chiang                                                                                                                                                       Neural circuits underlying the affective component of pain.

Previous Current Research Schedule Fall 2016

Sept. 1st - Lindsey Snyder (Ross lab)
Kappa opioid signaling in somatosensation

Sept. 15th - Daniel Shiwarski (Puthenveedu lab)
Surface delivery of delta opioid receptors as a strategy to increase antinociceptive efficacy

Sept. 29th - Dave Whitcomb (Whitcomb lab)
Complexity of Pain in Chronic Pancreatitis

Oct. 13th - Qing Liu (Gold lab)
Opioid induced loss of local anesthetic potency in total knee arthroplasty patients

Oct. 27th - Marissa Kuzirian (Ross lab)
Understanding the elusive function of cortical inhibitory projection neurons

Nov. 10th -Annie Liu (Urban lab)
Effect of early odorant exposure on the structure and output of the mammalian olfactory bulb

Nov. 15th - SfN week

Nov. 22nd - Thanksgiving week

Dec. 1st - Maggie Wright (Koerber lab)
Characterization of MrgD-lineal cutaneous afferents

Dec. 15th - Cedric Peirs (Seal lab)
Circuits and Mechanisms for Mechanical Allodynia

Talia Adi wins the Fall 2022 PCPR Prize!!

Yanmei Qi  wins the Spring 2022 PCPR Prize!!

(sorry no pics - still COVID19)

Jamie Moy wins the Fall 2021 PCPR Prize!!

(sorry no pics - COVID19)

Tyler Nelson wins the Spring 2020 PCPR Prize!!


Eileen Nguyen wins the Fall 2019 PCPR Prize!!

(sorry no pics - the prize was given at the Holiday party, and well, it was a party)

Jane Hartung wins Spring 2019 PCPR Prize!!

Brian Edwards wins Fall 2018 PCPR Prize!!

Emanuel Loeza wins Spring 2018 PCPR Prize!!


Kristen Smith-Edwards wins Fall 2017 PCPR Prize!!

Sarah Najjar wins Spring 2017 PCPR Prize!!

Cedric Peirs wins Fall 2016 PCPR Prize!!