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First Stage Researchers (R1)

Posted by: Neuroscience Technologies

Posted date: May-31-2017

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Project: ITN PAIN-net (EU Marie Curie Actions)

Neuropathic pain affects 5% of the general population and 40% of patients with neurological diseases, and has a key role in the pathophysiology of cancer pain that affects up to 50% of patients in the early disease stage and 30% of survivors, causing an enormous social burden. Treatments are inadequate with less than 50% of patients achieving 50% of pain relief at best, while up to 30% of cancer pain patients experience insufficient analgesia. Signatures of individual susceptibility to pain and analgesic responsiveness are urgently needed to improve patients’ management. Such advances are expected to originate from integrated clinical, basic science and entrepreneurial research readily translating scientific findings into benefits for patients. To consolidate these aims, a new generation of scientists with wide knowledge in neuropathic pain, focused research skills and experience in the interaction with biotechnology companies is needed. The PAIN-Net programme, based on a highly innovative platform of training-through-research and strongly committed to such objectives, will support such talented and inspired early stage researchers. Their research projects, embedded in an advanced molecule-to-man pain network, will contribute to better understanding individual susceptibility to pain and analgesics responsiveness based on next generation sequencing, whole exome sequencing, epigenetics and pharmacogenomics studies, nociceptor and sodium channel functioning based on biophysics and proteomics studies, targeted analgesics based on high-throughput screening, targeted analgesic delivery based on encapsulated cell bioreactor implants, and to the development and extensive characterisation of the first knock-in mouse models of sodium channel-related neuropathic pain based on the CRISP-Cas technology. Most of all, the PAIN-Net programme will offer the unique opportunity to enhance scientific capabilities and prepare to high level academic or private applied research career.

Specific Research Project

ESR4 will assess excitability and spontaneous activity of C-nociceptors to identify the key readouts that correspond to the experienced intensity of pain. Microneurography recording of spontaneous discharge of different classes of nociceptors and quantification of their excitability will be performed in 50 neuropathic pain patients and 30 controls collected using the same diagnostic criteria described in WP1 (Task1.2). The topical capsaicin/heat rekindling model l55 will be used to validate the readouts for spontaneous activity in patients by comparing them to capsaicin/heat-induced spontaneous activity in controls. We will use one model of nociceptor sensitisation (NGF). Spontaneous activity and nociceptor excitability will be compared to classical patient readouts (Quantitative Sensory Testing, Nerve Conduction Studies, Evoked Potentials). Measures of spontaneous activity and excitability of nociceptors will be performed in the new CRISPR-Cas mouse model within the characterisation protocol.

ESR5 is expected to learn microneurography techniques and their use in animal models of neuropathic pain. Mainly, the ESR5 is expected to establish an automated method to analyse and quantify the spontaneous activity of primary afferent nociceptors through the implementation of dedicated software and/or the software/hardware interfaces needed. This method will be validated through pharmacological interventions aimed to modify the nociceptors response observed in the microneurography.

Further details available at: euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/192003
Job Title First Stage Researchers (R1)
Post Details
Email jserra(at)nsc-tec.com
Employer's Website www.nsc-tec.com
Job Discipline Job Discipline -> Neuroscience
Job Classification Job Classification -> Other
Job Type Job Type -> Full-time
Location Barcelona, Spain
Key Words neuroscience, neurography, neurobiology,
Start Date 11/01/2017