Principal investigator -
Gregory F. Corder, Ph.D.
Throughout the last decade, my research has aimed to uncover how brain and spinal circuits transform emotionally inert nociceptive information into an affective painful experience. Working previously with Dr. Gregory Scherrer and Dr. Mark Schnitzer at the Stanford Wu-Tsai Neurosciences Institute, and with Dr. Bradley Taylor (University of Pittsburgh, Dept. of Anesthesiology) I have grounded my scientific interests in studying the fundamental properties of neural circuits, and how to best further translational efforts to develop new strategies for clinical pain relief.
My new group within the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania employs an expansive multidisciplinary approach to further our understanding of how brain processes give rise to perceptions and motivations. Utilizing in vivo calcium imaging, neuroanatomical tracing, mouse genetics, optical neuromanipulation, and behavioral pharmacology, my lab continues to deconstruct these dynamic neural mechanisms of pain and pleasure experiences, and the molecular remodeling effects caused by endogenous and exogenous opioids within limbic and cortical brain circuits.
In addition to advancing our basic understanding of the brain and mind, the driving goal of our projects is to to improve the mental, physical, and social health of chronic pain patients. Ultimately I hope that our lab's work will facilitate advancements in therapeutic interventions to reduce the suffering and depression symptoms of pain patients, thereby lessening the necessity of prescription opioids and curtailing the ongoing Opioid Epidemic.