2nd Annual Faculty Research Lecture in Translational Science
Awarded to Allan I. Basbaum, PhD
The Academic Senate is pleased to announce the selection of Allan I. Basbaum, PhD, FRS as the recipient of the 2nd Annual Faculty Research Lecture – Translational Science. In selecting Dr. Basbaum to receive this award, the Senate recognizes the contributions of faculty who translate bench science to a bedside clinical practice directly benefiting both patients and legions of other clinicians worldwide.
Lecture Title: The Neurological Basis of Pain and Its Control,
Date/Location: April 17, 2012 from 3:30 – 5:00pm in Cole Hall at the Parnassus Campus
Dr. Basbaum’s lecture, “The Neurological Basis of Pain and Its Control,” will be held on the UCSF Parnassus Campus on April 17, 2012 (3:30-5pm) in Cole Hall.
Following a landmark 1978 article1 that provided the first insights into the neural circuits through which endogenous opioids (endorphins) can prevent pain, Dr. Basbaum went on to make extraordinarily innovative use of anatomical, behavioral, and genetic approaches to delineate the circuitry and neural substrates contributing to pain sensation and pain control.
The development of persistent pain following tissue or nerve injury results to a great extent from profound reorganization of CNS circuits. These changes contribute to a state of hyperexcitability that underlies the clinical condition of allodynia (whereby normally innocuous stimuli become painful) a hallmark of persistent pain. Dr. Basbaum’s work has defined many aspects of the central nervous system plasticity (maladaptive) that enhances the transmission of pain messages to the brain. Dr. Basbaum’s studies also mapped the circuits that are activated in the setting of persistent injury, and many of the molecules that can be targeted in order to treat chronic pain.
Most recently, he has turned to a revolutionary approach to treating the intractable neuropathic pains that arise from nerve injury. These studies involve transplantation of embryonic nerve cell precursors into the spinal cord of ad ult mice. The transplants integrate into the host tissue and reestablish the inhibitory controls that are lost following nerve injury and that underlie the persistent neuropathic pain condition.
Dr. Basbaum is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy. He is also a member of the W.M. Keck Foundation Center for Integrative Neuroscience at UCSF. He graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and received his PhD from University of Pennsylvania. He did postdoctoral research at the University College London then at UCSF, eventually joining the faculty. Dr. Basbaum is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom. He is presently Editor-in-Chief of Pain, the journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.
Again, the Academic Senate Faculty Research Lecture will be held in Cole Hall at the Parnassus Campus on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 3:30pm. The event will be simulcast live for those unable to attend in person. The link will be available on the Academic Senate website the week prior to the event. Following the lecture, a reception will be held by the Nobel Wall.