PhD: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 1995, year of graduation: 1995
MSc: Biomathematics, University of Califonia at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Califonia, USA.
BSc: Mathematics, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Nano Main Field:
the tools necessary to answer some of these questions are just now being developed and some are still to be discovered. The pace of scientific advancement necessitates a forward-looking approach in which we are prepared to obtain tissue and study it for specific changes under unique clinical conditions.
The purpose of this project is to identify candidate targets to reverse nerve degeneration associated with exposure to statins. We have previously reported that motor and sensory neurons are selectively vulnerable to fluvastatin, in cotrast to cortical neurons. In vitro data supports an active neurodegenerative mechanism.
We have treated rats with fluvastatin and intend to measure the effects on gene expression. This is research into the basic mechanisms of a very problematic clinical condition that results in pain, weakness, impaired mobility, and frequent falls.
Relation to nanotechnology : The successful development of nerve regeneration strategies is almost certain to necessiate nanotechnology assessment .
Studies of the mechanisms of pain signaling and responses to pain, including molecular, cellular and behavioral processes, with special focus on the application of statistical and mathematical methods to these questions.
Specific Areas of Research:
1. C-fibers and neuropathic pain (1999 – present)
C-fibers, consisting of small diameter axons and supporting Schwann cells, have an important role in signaling pain. We have shown, in our studies of the details of C-fiber structure that indicate multiple axons are common and these axons are diverse in fiber type and anatomical origin. Implications of this for function are an area of current study employing surgical, morphological, behavioral, and numerically intensive computational methodologies.
2. Statins and peripheral neuropathy (2006 – present)
We have provided evidence, for the first time, that a specific statin, fluvastatin, is particularly toxic for sensory and motor neurons but not cortical neurons or Schwann cells. The reasons for this are not known but may have important implications for the use of the agents more broadly. Genechip analysis of fluvastatin treated immortalized sensory neurons indicates rapid upregulation of injury markers, further study is ongoing.
3. Pain, affect and decision making (2003 – present)
Recently, we provided evidence that physician-trainees are prone to errors in clinical decision making about pain when negative emotions predominate. In conjunction with teaching and educational innovation in the areas of pain and neuropathy, we have examined the emotional state and development of medical students.