Time: 11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
Location: Dental Sciences Building, Room D7-11
Over the past decade our understanding of pain mechanisms has moved from the study of systems to an appreciation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to the onset and maintenance of acute and chronic pain. Micro RNAs and interfering RNAs form a class of noncoding RNAs that are involved in modulating gene expression. These “master regulators” of gene expression alter and modulate expression of different proteins and there are nearly 500 human miRNAs that have been described. Considering the role of altered protein expression in the development of plasticity and long-term hyperexcitability including changes in the expression of signaling molecules, transmitters and ion channels, miRNAs have attracted a lot of interest as research tools, biomarkers, and potential drug targets. This is an exciting new area of research that could lead to mechanism based treatments that will have a significant impact on the future of pain research. This is one of those pioneering moments in research and a topic that should generate a lot of discussion that will be led by Drs. Cruz-Almeida and Yezierski.