|Method||Technical Expertise||about 3 years ago|
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My general research interests are in the spinal cord mechanisms underlying chronic pain. My current work explores the action of opioids on synaptic plasticity at synapses in the superficial layers of the spinal cord dorsal horn. The synapses in the superficial laminae of the spinal cord dorsal horn play a prominent role in the transmission of nociceptive information from the periphery to the brain. At these synapses, synaptic strength can be modified in the development of chronic pain. Several plastic changes can occur at these synapses, resulting in an altered response to both noxious and innocuous stimuli. One mechanism of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie the development of enhanced pain sensitivity is synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP).
My research activity has been devoted to study the cellular mechanisms of induction and reversal of synaptic LTP at C-fiber synapses in the spinal cord dorsal horn. In particular, I have been investigating the effect of opioids on these processes using electrophysiological techniques as well as behavioral testing, western blotting and imaging techniques. During my studies I could identify novel effects of opioids such as opioid-withdrawal LTP as well as opioid-induced depotentiation of established forms of LTP at spinal C-fiber synapses. The transition of this knowledge into clinical applications might greatly improve the use of opioids for more targeted treatment of various causes of pain.
For further information, please also see: http://cbr.meduniwien.ac.at/people/persons-details/id/18
2013 Sanofi-Aventis Prize
2013 1st Pain Prize, Austrian Pain Society
2011 Sertürner Prize, Sertürner Society Einbeck
2011 1st Pain Prize, Austrian Pain Society
2010 Award of Honour, German Pain Prize, German Society for Pain Therapy
2009 2nd Pain Prize, Austrian Pain Society
2006 1st Pain Prize, German IASP