Pain & Itch: The good, the bad, & the ugly

28th March 2024

Timing : 1 pm EST

Please use this zoom link for joining the webinar

For a list of all talks at the NanoBio seminar Series Spring'24, see here

Pain and itch protect us from potential injury and diseases from our immediate surroundings. However, pain and itch lose their protective purpose in chronic disorders such as peripheral neuropathy and psoriasis. Moreover, patients with these chronic disorders often suffer from stress and anxiety, which in turn can make the pain and itch worse. In my talk, I will elaborate on two stories. First, we find a novel circuit mechanism for how the aversiveness associated with the itch is encoded in the brain. In the second one, we investigate how the mesolimbic dopaminergic system may mediate the severity of chronic neuropathic pain and associated anxiety. We employed fluorescent gene-carrying viral vectors to interrogate the anatomy, optogenetic/ chemogenetic tools to manipulate the activity, and record from the circuits of interest. Together, we shed light on the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms that underlie the emotional distress caused by chronic pain and itch.