Personal profile

Research interests

Im a neurobiologist interested in brain mechanism that impart vulnerability to develop chronic pain and mental health. Im particularly interested in the contribution of cortical areas that can regulate sensory processing and behaviour to enable adaptation in changing environments or physiological states. Recently, my research focus has shifted to interoceptive rather than exteroceptive systems.

I work on chronic pain because there is a tremendous unmet need. Chronic pain has a devastating impact on the quality of life of patients and their carers, and impacts society and the economy greatly. Current therapies are largely ineffective, and many patients feel their treatment is inadequate. I work on ‘executive control’ areas of the brain because our understanding of nociceptive systems alone has not translated into effective treatments for patients. I believe that improved understanding of the interaction between the nociceptive, emotional, and cognitive systems is required to identify new therapeutic targets, refine existing ones, and improve our stratification of patients for effective treatments.

The expertise I bring to my field is comprehensive knowledge of the nociceptive (pain) system from the bottom up and the top-down. I have developed several experimental techniques for the selective monitoring and manipulation of neuronal activity in behaving animals that allows me to discern cause from effect and discern the local and inter-regional neuronal circuit mechanisms. This approach allows me to address research questions from the single neurone to neuronal circuits to animal behaviour.  I think my unique contribution is being able to assimilate ideas across physiological, psychological, and clinical domains to identify research questions and design appropriate experimental studies that have improved translational value for patients.

I would like to interact more with people with lived experience of chronic pain and/or mental health to help me refine my research agenda. I think its essential to work with pharmaceutical companies that can help translate fundamental knowledge into impact for patients and society. I would also like to interact with digital health technology companies that could deliver brain / cognitive based therapies for patients. Please get in contact if you are interested in my research. Thank you.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Tactile Action Perception
  • Pain & Nociception
  • Chronic Pain
  • Neurophysiology
  • Brain and Behaviour
  • In Vivo System
  • Affective & Behavioural neuroscience

Keywords

  • In Vivo Systems
  • Neurophysiology
  • Pain & Nociception
  • Chronic pain
  • Affective & Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Electrophysiology

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