Research is an important activity in the Department of Endodontics. Although our funded projects cover diverse topics, much of our efforts emphasize translational and basic science research projects that evaluate pain mechanisms.
These studies are facilitated by a group of basic scientists with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise that work together as members of the Neuropharmacology Research Group to unravel the mystery of pain.
Facts & Findings
Even though TRPV1 has long been recognized as a key pain receptor, the endogenous substances responsible for its activation are not well understood. The Neuropharmacology Research Group has discovered that oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid (OLAMs), a common fatty acid found in cell membranes, represent a new class of endogenous substances that activate TRPV1.
are released after inflammatory and noxious heat insults. These findings identify the OLAMs as a new molecular target for the development of an entirely new class of medications to treat pain.
of oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid as a pain target are currently being studied after burn injury with funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Our research is on the verge of a significant breakthrough. As a scientist, I can think of nothing more important than helping these patients.
Dr. Ken Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Dr. Armen Akopian
Research interests include Neuroendocrinology and Neuroimmunology contributions to pain and inflammatory conditions.