Daniela Salvemini, PhD

William Beaumont Professor and Chair, SLU Pharmacology and Physiology

A translational bench to bedside approach towards the discovery of novel analgesics

A translational bench to bedside approach towards the discovery of novel analgesics. Over 100 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from chronic pain, but the treatments are few and their use is limited by severe side effects of the medications. Little progress has been made in the development of new types of medications to treat chronic pain; novel therapeutic agents are unquestionably needed. Using a multidisciplinary approach that includes genetic, molecular, bio-analytical, biochemical and pharmacological tools, my lab is interested in determining the cellular and molecular changes that underlie the development of chronic pain conditions and opioid-induced analgesic tolerance known to hamper effective use of opioids. Our studies examine plasticity in the periphery in primary sensory neurons where painful stimuli are transduced, in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord where the first synaptic relays occurs for pain signals headed to the brain, and in various areas of the brain known to be important in the overall integration of pain outcome such as the RVM, the amygdala and VTA. Our overall goal is to identify molecular targets for the development of novel analgesics as well as clinical biomarkers to allow a personalized approach to pain management. Novel chemical entities that specifically target pathways of interest are identified through our collaborative efforts with discovery chemistry and then evaluated through preclinical and clinical development for translation to clinical trials for proof of concept.

More about Daniela Salvemini