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The Ajit Lab is interested in pursuing various aspects of epigenetics including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and RNA-mediated gene silencing, all aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying pain.

Ongoing Projects

  • The role of methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in pain and how mutation in MeCP2 results in altered pain perception using rodent models of neuropathic pain.
  • The utility of inhibitors targeting enzymes responsible for epigenetic modifications such as histone deacetylase in treating and/or understanding the role of epigenetic changes in pain.
  • Exploring miRNA regulation and its utility as biomarkers in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). We have identified differentially expressed circulating miRNAs in whole blood from CRPS patients relative to controls. Additionally, our studies using blood samples from good and poor-responders to ketamine treatment identified differential miRNA signature both before and after therapy.
  • The exosome-mediated information transfer in the context of pain.
  • The role of long non-coding RNAs along with accompanying epigenetic alterations in the development of chronic pain, and its predominance in women.

In the Media

"Unlocking the Secrets of Pain"
Persistent pain is more than a symptom — it's a Pandora's box of systemic issues and associated side effects impacting more than 100 million Americans, according to the Institute of Medicine. Yet, despite an aging population that makes this growing problem even more concerning, therapies and treatments for pain are quite limited.
College of Medicine Alumni Magazine (Fall/Winter 2016)

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