Neil Lax3rd Year Ph.D Candidate
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Kolber Lab, Mellon Hall
Education:B.S. Biology and Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, 2012
I am currently using behavioral assays to study the potential analgesic properties of novel drugs. One drug of particular interest to my research is fenobam. Fenobam is an antagonist to metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5), a receptor which is known to be involved in the processing of pain in the brain. In order to study the effects of fenobam, mechanical hypersensitivity (a model for pain) is induced in the hind paw of mice using the spared nerve injury (SNI) surgery. Subsequently, the mice are subjected to a behavioral assay called analgesic conditioned place preference (aCPP). This assay, based on the principles of Pavlovian conditioning, uses negative reinforcement to determine whether or not the drug relieves the hypersensitivity and therefore the associated pain.