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Research interests

The overall aim of work in this laboratory is to understand central nervous system mechanisms of nociception and pain. The focus is on the physiology, anatomy and neurochemistry of descending control systems that originate in the brainstem and that act to co-ordinate changes in motor, autonomic and sensory functions, including pain. These systems underlie the co-ordinated patterns of change in behaviour, nociceptive responsiveness and autonomic outflow that occur: (i) during fever, as part of a sickness response (ii) in different behavioural states, such as fear and anxiety, (iii) in certain pathophysiological conditions, such as stress related disorders and chronic pain.

A better understanding of the neural basis of pain will help develop new strategies for the treatment of chronic pain, such as that which accompanies arthritis.

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