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Description of Research Interests
Jelena Janjic

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Founder and Co-director 

Design and development of novel nano reagents for in vivo imaging (19F MRI, optical) of cellular and molecular mechanisms in chronic pain.
John Pollock

Professor of Biological Sciences


Focus on regulated changes in gene expression observed at the mRNA and protein levels that correspond to chronic pain. We are particularly interested in studying the interaction between the immune system and the peripheral nervous system with a specific focus on TRP gene expression.

Consortium Members

Description of Research Interests
Carl Anderson

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Our research focuses on studying new formulations to provide specific delivery characteristics of active ingredients used to treat pain.
Michael Cascio

Associate Professor of Biochemistry

The major research interest of my laboratory is the correlation of structure and function for membrane protein receptors and channels, primarily neuroreceptors. In recent multidisciplinary collaborative efforts, we have show that transgene delivery of glycine receptors to peripheral nerves may potentially alleviate pain upon selective activation of the expressed receptor.
Jane Cavanaugh
Associate Professor of Pharmacology The focus of my laboratory is the neurobiology of aging. We are interested in pain mechanisms with aging and ways to alleviate chronic pain experienced by the elderly population.
Jordan Covvey
Assistant Professor of Clincial, Social, and Administrative Sciences My primary area of interest is the ‘real world' use of pharmacological therapies for chronic pain. Using health outcomes research methodology and electronic medical records, we characterize prescribing patterns in these therapies in an effort to optimize their use in clinical practice.
Khalid M. Kamal

Associate Professor of Clinical, Social and Administrative Sciences

My primary areas of research interests include health outcomes research with particular emphasis on economic and patient-reported outcomes in chronic diseases. My research agenda is divided into four broad research fronts: Pharmacoeconomics evaluations, quality of life assessment, healthcare cost and resource utilization, and electronic medical records as a tool to improve process of care.
Benedict Kolber

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Consortium Research and Education Coordinator

The focus of the laboratory is to understand the interaction of stress and pain using physiology, molecular biology, optogenetics, and behavior. We study models of somatic and visceral pain. In particular, we are currently focusing on understanding the role of the brain in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome.
Matthew Kostek  
Assiociate Professor of Physical Therapy Our laboratory of Muscle and Translational Therapeutics focuses on muscle rehabilitation after injury, aging, or disease. We utilize cell culture and animal models to examine molecular mechanisms of improved muscle function and human studies to verify real-world application. As pain will affect, and is an outcome in rehab, we seek to understand the interaction of pain with muscle rehab.
Alexander Kranjec
Associate Professor of Psychology We study how the mind and brain represent meaning, with and without language. We use cognitive behavioral methods, neuroimaging (fMRI) and non-invasive brain stimulation (tDCS) in normal participants, and lesion analysis methods in patients with focal brain damage. We are developing novel methods for investigating the phenomenology and neuropsychology of pain in order to better understand how emotion, perception, and language interact to modulate the experience of pain in humans.
Devika Manickam We develop nanoparticulate carriers for safe and efficient delivery of biotherapeutic drugs- polypeptides and nucleic acids. One of our specific interests includes development of novel nanocarriers for delivery of siRNA/shRNA therapeutics for the treatment of chronic pain.
Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics
Jamie McConaha

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice

As a community practice pharmacist who frequently interacts with patients suffering from chronic and acute pain, I am interested in studying the effects that pain has on this population. My work is also focused on the best practices for the implementation of new pain interventions, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic.
Jane Moriarty

Professor of Law

Carol Low Mansmann Chair in Faculty Scholarship

As a law professor whose academic interests examine the intersection of science and law (particularly legal evidence and the role of neuroscience in law), I am interested in neuroscience pain research generally and its relationship to law. Three particular issues of interest within the intersection are: (1) the accuracy/reliability of neuroimaging to prove or disprove pain; (2) the profound importance of mental privacy and autonomy that may be affected by pain neuroimaging in the legal system; and (3) the potential government use of pain neuroimaging in determining what constitutes torture.

Rachael Neilan

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Our research aims to solve problems in the life sciences using mathematical and computational models. We develop computational models of individual neurons and their interactions during pain. These models serve as theoretical frameworks for testing new hypotheses regarding the role of brain structures, such as the amygdala, in pain.
Lauren O'Donnell

Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Our lab is interested in understanding how the inflammatory response to viral infections in neurons impacts on the development and maintenance of chronic pain.
Amy Phelps
Assistant Professor of Statistics I have a long standing interest in statistics in the context of pain medicine and research. At Duquesne, I assist in statistical aspects of on-going studies in pain and assist with PhD dissertations. In the community, I have collaborated with faculty at Magee Womens Hospital (e.g. Dr. Manuel Vallejo)and with physicians in private practice (e.g. Dr. David Provenzano).
Diane Rhodes

Instructor of Pharmaceutics

Our interest in the topic of pain is to provide pain education to students in health care professions. With the School of Nursing in cooperation with the School of Pharmacy, we are developing an interdisciplinary course to assess and treat pain.
Lynn Coletta Simko

Clinical Associate Professor

Our interest is in chronic pain and post-operative pain issues in patients with congenital heart disease (e.g. chronic cyanosis). We are particularly interested in improving the quality of life in our adult patient population.
Kimberly Szucs

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

As an occupational therapist, my interest in pain research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of neuropathic pain and neural changes in specific patient populations, such as persons with second- and third-degree burns. I aim to incorporate this research focus into my current research agenda on sensory and motor changes/impairments in these populations.
Kevin Tidgewell

Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

Consortium Grant and Funding Coordinator

My lab does marine natural products drug discovery for GPCRs with a focus on ligands for receptors which are involved in pain and addiction. Our goal is to discover novel ligands to use as drugs and pharmacological tools to better understand pain and the complex processes involved in pain.

Associate Members

Christine O'Neil Vincent Giannetti David Johnson
Professor of Pharmacy Practice Professor of Pharmaceutical Administration Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Rehana Leak
Patrick Flaherty
Associate Professor of Pharmacology Sciences  Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry