How common genetic variants alter anesthesia and analgesia:
Approximately 40% of Asian Americans that are descendants from East Asia possess a genetic variant severely limiting their ability to metabolize drugs we use during surgery. This variant also limits the metabolism of reactive aldehydes produced during surgery. With support from a NIGMS MIRA award, we are developing personalized treatment strategies for this patient population to ultimately provide the best anesthetic and analgesic care during surgery.
Surgery triggers oxidative stress which produces reactive aldehydes:
Reactive aldehydes can cause DNA and protein damage:
Cross-talk between nociception and cardioprotection:
We are looking at how channels which mediate nociception may also be part of the cellular pathways that provide endogenous mechanisms of cardioprotection. Our goal is to separate these functions for nociceptors in order to provide pain relief while also enabling or maintaining endogenous mechanisms of organ protection from ischemia-reperfusion injury. Together we may find novel ways to reduce acute inflammatory pain while also uncovering natural mechanisms how the heart protects itself from cellulr injury such as during a heart attack, cardiac bypass surgeries, or organ transplantation.
Nociceptors, such as TRPV1, are within the cardiac myocyte:
Modulating protein partners of the TRPV1 receptor regulate cellular injury:
Developing novel analgesics:
We are currently developing novel analgesics for pain control through strategies including targeting protein-protein interactions and boosting reactive aldehyde metabolism. We hope these strategies may replace prescribing opioids to treat pain.