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I am passionate about the understanding of the neurobiological bases of nociception. In particular, I am interested in the power of our mind to affect how much pain we perceive. To do so, I bring together newest techniques to dissect anatomically and functionally pain circuity. Initial description of those pathways in health is crucial to understand their malfunctioning in pathology.
I start with surgical transgene delivery to molecularly-defined discreet neuronal populations with the aid of certain viruses (AAVs). Then, by crossing optogenetic mapping, in vivo electrophysiology and calcium imaging, securely in anaesthetised animals, I gain the information about the functioning of those discreet pathways. The same neuronal tissue is then made light-transparent (CLARITY) and imaged for precise anatomical definition. Next, the candidate pathway is modulated using opto- or chemogenetics (DREADDs) in behaving animals. Here, affective cues (like fatigue, acute or chronic stress) are often added. Finally, this comprehensive approach is used to address outstanding questions in disease conditions.
See some of my current and past projects described in details below:
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