Kyle Baumbauer, PhD
Assistant Professor, Nursing (Affiliate)
One of the primary challenges for the central nervous system is decoding meaningful messages from the ongoing constant barrage of information arriving at its synapses. This challenge is even more difficult under circumstances of injury or inflammation when signals can be scrambled, amplified, or passed along inappropriate circuits. Multiple laboratories are exploring these processes and trying to unravel the mystery of how normal and adaptive pain shifts to a maladaptive chronic pain state. To explore these processes, research in my laboratory focuses on the neurons responsible for transmitting sensory information to the central nervous system; the primary afferents. The lab uses different models to examine pain processing: inflammation, nerve injury, and spinal cord injury. Primary afferents are studied using ex vivo preparations that allow for comprehensive phenotyping of individual nerve fibers and determine how injury changes physiological properties of these neurons. Physiological characterizations of neurons are also coupled with gene expression profiling of individual afferents to examine shifts in expression patterns following injury. Genetic expression of channelrhoodopsin is also utilized to target specific populations of afferents to examine relative contributions to sensory processing. It is our hope that our results will lead to advances that aid in the treatment of pathological pain.
B.S. Psychology (1999), University of Central Florida
B.A. Sociology (2000), University of Central Florida
M.S. Experimental Psychology (2002), Kent State University
Ph.D. Experimental Psychology (2005), Kent State University
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