Vivianne Tawfik

Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine

B.Sc., McGill University

M.D./Ph.D., Dartmouth College

In conjunction with the Open Philanthropy Project

The mission of the Tawfik Lab is to do the best clinically informed basic science research to advance our understanding of the neuroimmune contribution to chronic pain in a thoughtful manner, with our patients always in mind. We are particularly interested in understanding the unique underpinnings of various types of chronic pain and how central nervous system glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain. Microglia are particularly interesting to us, as the macrophages of the central nervous system with known roles in synaptic pruning and neuroinflammation. Funding from the Open Philanthropy Project will allow us to dive more deeply into the contribution of spinal cord microglia using transgenic manipulations and microglial transcriptome analyses in a mouse model of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a disease that affects the limbs after minor fracture, or surgery. We expect that our findings in this model will also extend to other forms of chronic pain and allow for the development of more specific glial-targeted therapeutics.