Neurobiology and Chemistry of Pain and Addiction Symposium, April 24

World-renowned researchers will gather at the University of Arizona Health Sciences campus for the Neurobiology and Chemistry of Pain and Addiction Symposium on Wednesday, April 24, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., in the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building, Room 103, 1657 E. Helen St., Tucson.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Pharmacology and Interim Dean Irving Kron, MD.

Prominent neurobiologists will present state-of-the-art understanding of the often overlapping brain circuits underlying acute and chronic pain, reward, motivation and addiction.

Leaders in chemistry will highlight the progress in the development of chemical probes that not only improve understanding of neurobiology but also are being advanced as potential novel therapies.

Special recognition will be given to Rao S. Rapaka, PhD, chief, Chemistry and Pharmacology Research Branch, Division of Neuroscience and Behavior, National Institute on Drug Abuse, for promoting advances in the treatment of pain and addiction.

Topics and presenters include:

8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.        The Opioid Crisis Teaches
Jane Ballantyne, MD, University of Washington Medical Center, anesthesiology and pain medicine

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.        The Neurobiology of Opioid Analgesia and Reward
Howard Fields, MD, PhD, professor emeritus, neurology, University of California, San Francisco

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.     Kappa opioid antagonists as pain therapeutics
Frank Porreca, PhD, associate head and professor, UA Department of Pharmacology; UA professor, anesthesiology

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.     Discovery and development of CYM53093, a novel, selective and short-acting kappa opioid receptor antagonist
Edward Roberts, PhD, professor, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.     Long-lasting peripherally restricted kappa opioid agonists as pain therapeutics
Pierre Riviere, PhD, founder and CEO, Peptide Logic

11:30 p.m. – Noon             Targeting multiple receptor systems through multivalent ligands to improve chronic pain therapy
Victor Hruby, UA Regents’ Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
John Streicher, PhD, UA assistant professor, pharmacology

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.        Separating analgesic efficacy from physical dependence by targeting the endocannabinoid system
Andrea Hohmann, PhD, Gil Chair and professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.        Structure and Function of Cannabinoid Receptors
Alexandros Makriyannis, PhD, professor, chemistry and chemical biology, George D Behrakis Chair of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Center for Drug Discovery, Northeastern University

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.        Optimizing cannabinoid-based medicines for epilepsy and beyond
Nephi Stella, PhD, professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.        Therapeutic application of cannabinoid agonists
Todd Vanderah, PhD, head and professor, UA Department of Pharmacology; UA professor, anesthesiology and neurology; professor, UA BIO5 Institute

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.        S1PR1 antagonists as novel therapeutics for pain
Daniela Salvemini, PhD, professor, pharmacological and physiological science, Saint Louis University School of Medicine

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.        Allosteric regulation of sodium channel NaV1.7 for pain therapeutics
Rajesh Khanna, PhD, UA professor, pharmacology and anesthesiology; professor, UA BIO5 Institute

5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.        Targeting spinal neurotensin system by a snail toxin for pain
Amol Patwardhan, PhD, MBBS, UA assistant professor, anesthesiology and pharmacology

5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.        Light therapy for treatment of pain
Mohab Ibrahim, PhD, MD, UA associate professor, anesthesiology and pharmacology

5:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.        Migraine, blood-brain barrier and therapeutic opportunities
Tally Largent-Milnes, PhD, UA assistant professor, pharmacology; assistant professor, UA BIO5 Institute

5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.        Opposing roles of mu and kappa opioid circuits in descending pain modulation
Edita Navratilova, PhD, UA research assistant professor, pharmacology

6:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.        Genetic and Pharmacological Validation of CRMP2 Phosphorylation as a Novel therapeutic Target for Neuropathic Pain
Aubin Moutal, PhD, UA research assistant professor, pharmacology

About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health-care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, please visit
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About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs approximately 4,000 people, has approximately 800 faculty members and garners more than $140 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram)

Release Date: 
04/22/2019 - 1:52am
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