I completed my undergraduate studies and received my Bachelor of Science from Marquette University in 2005.
Acute pain is beneficial in that it can elicit adaptive responses to harmful stimuli. However, in chronic pain states, pain persists after the injury or infection that initiated it, causing long-term, unremitting suffering. Current pharmacological treatment directed towards neuronal hyperexcitability is ineffective and often addictive. Recent findings suggest that astrocytes may play a critical role in the chronic sensitization of nociceptive neurons in the spinal cord, making them a potential target for the treatment of chronic pain. I will investigate astrocyte involvement in the maintenance of chronic inflammatory pain through calcium signaling and the NFkB inflammatory pathway using behavioral, molecular and electrophysiological techniques.