Michael Jankowski (Award in Pain Recipient) earned an M.S. in neuroscience and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also conducted postdoctoral research. He joined the faculty of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2011. Jankowski has received several National Institutes of Health grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Arthritis,Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. He also is a recipient of an International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Early Career Research Grant Award, and was named a Cincinnati Children’s Trustee Scholar in addition to being a Rita Allen Scholar. He serves on numerous grant review panels and journal review boards and is an associate editor for the journal PAIN and reviewing editor for Molecular Pain. He is on the training faculty in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program at CCHMC. He is also a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the IASP and the American Pain Society.
Jankowski’s lab is interested in the peripheral mechanisms of pain development under unique injury conditions. His research has two main focuses: peripheral mechanisms of musculoskeletal pain, specifically in the context of ischemia; and the consequences of neonatal injury on developing sensory neurons. Ischemic muscle pain is a major health issue that occurs in numerous disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, peripheral vascular disease and even fibromyalgia. Many patients experience altered cardiovascular reflexes and musculoskeletal pain as a result of these disease states. Chronic pain in children, however, can arise from multiple sources, including surgery, inflammation or even neonatal intensive care. Yet we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the changes that occur in specific subtypes of sensory fibers after ischemic muscle injury or during postnatal development that modulate these distinctive pain states. Jankowski’s group utilizes a multidisciplinary experimental approach to obtain a broad understanding of pain development at the primary afferent level. These studies will hopefully lead to the development of treatments for adverse changes in cardiovascular reflexes or musculoskeletal pain associated with muscle ischemia, or novel therapies for pediatric pain.