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Wellcome Trust conference The Challenges of Chronic Pain

11-13 March 2015
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

Abstract deadline: 30 January 2015
Registration deadline: 16 February 2015

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Summer School, June 2009 Photos from the London Pain Consortium Summer School, held 21st-26th June 2009 in El Escorial, Madrid, Spain.

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Past Research
Functional properties of identified trigeminal primary afferents and adaptive changes following acute and chronic inflammation
The trigeminal ganglion is the most complex sensory ganglion in the body as it innervates a large variety of tissues that clinically give rise to distinct pain symptoms ranging from headache to tooth ache to various forms of facial pain and temperomandibular joint dysfunction . Although the ganglion is somatotopically organized, the multitude of innervated tissues has impeded a detailed analysis of primary sensory neurons, even though the currently available evidence strongly suggests that the receptive properties of the nociceptors supplying the different target tissues are distinct. For example, stimulation of teeth gives only rise to painful sensations and thus neurons innervating teeth appear to be unique set of neurons.
The proposed project plans to identify the primary sensory neurons innervating distinct targets after retrograde transport of a fluorescent maker. Identified cells will be studied in culture using calcium imaging as a convenient way to study the functional properties to a number of nociceptive stimuli such as capsaicin, cold, heat, hyposmolar stimuli or itch-inducing stimuli.
We wish to test the hyporthesis that the proportion of neurons innervating different targets are distinct in terms of the frequency and the magnitude of their response to different algogenic stimuli. The project will allow the functional characterization of distinct neuronal population that can subsequently be studied on a molecular level following laser capture microdissection.