Assistant Professor, Symptom Research
B.S., University of Adelaide
Ph.D., University of Adelaide
In conjunction with the Open Philanthropy Project
Pain that becomes chronic and outlasts the period of healing is a major medical challenge. The Grace Lab investigates the neuroimmune interactions that drive chronic pain. After injury to sensory nerves, glial cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, are activated throughout the central nervous system. These activated glia secrete neurotransmitters and cytokines that increase the excitability of neurons in pain pathways. We are focused on the open question of how spinal cord astrocytes are persistently activated in such remote regions. This line of research is also being expanded to determine how activated glia in the brain also contribute to common comorbidities of chronic pain, including depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairments. The ultimate goal of this work is to find new ways to treat chronic pain.