The overall goals are focused on studying and characterizing the mammalian somatosensory system's physiological functions in normal and pathological conditions (including nerve injury and cancer pain).

Specifically, the focus is on the molecular basis of the mechanical transduction on primary sensory neurons and the circuits, architecture, and sensory integration in secondary-order sensory neurons in the spinal cord. For this task, we use a combination of different techniques, including unique proficiency in whole animal in vivo intracellular electrophysiology and pharmacology, immunohistochemical (ICC), neuroanatomical characterization (confocal microscopy and 3D reconstructions), reflexive and non-reflexive behavior and several molecular techniques (e.g. Single-cell PCR)

The unparalleled resolution afforded by this challenging and detailed single-neuron approach has provided several novel insights into sensory neuron biology, particularly concerning the anatomical and functional diversity of nociceptors and their interaction with tactile afferents at multiple levels on the superficial dorsal horn

Research Projects