Injured joints, inflamed teeth, and irritated corneas all yield an ongoing pain state and local sensitization. Typically, we expect that when the injury and inflammation resolve, the pain and sensitization will abate. But in many cases the pain does not go away. In the case of the joint, the pain and hyperalgesia remain even after the inflammation has settled.
On Friday, January 13, Dr. Tony Yaksh will discuss his research into the mechanisms involved in transitioning from acute inflammatory pain to persistent post-inflammatory pain.
After obtaining his PhD from Purdue University, Dr. Yaksh served in the US Army Chemical Corp at Edgewood Arsenal where he initiated studies on the central actions of opiates in primates, identifying the midline mesencephalon, as a pivotal site of opiate action. He became a research scientist in the School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin publishing the pivotal work on spinal opiate action, which led to the widespread use of spinal analgesics. Dr. Yaksh joined UCSD in 1988 as Professor and Vice Chairman for Research in Anesthesiology.
Dr. Yaksh’s research has been primarily in the area of the physiology and pharmacology of pain processing. His laboratory has been preeminent in studying the safety of spinal agents and mechanisms of their toxicity, a unique academic endeavor that has established essential criteria for spinal drug development.
Dr. Yaksh has received several honors and awards, including the Kerr Award from the American Pain Society, the Seldon Memorial Lecturer award from the International Anesthesia Research Society, the American Society of Anesthesiologists Award for Excellence in research, and most recently a life time achievement award from the North American Neuromodulatory Society.