Targeting novel mediators of chronic pain to improve analgesia for Epidermolysis Bullosa

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
Paediatrics
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Ken Pang ken.pang@mcri.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Nicholas Veldhuis nicholas.veldhuis@monash.edu
A/Prof Johannes Kern Johannes.Kern@mh.org.au

Summary This PhD project research seeks to improve understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of chronic pain in EB by defining its critical mediators, and its outcome will be to advance the development of new analgesic options in EB. To achieve this goal, the student will join a team of accomplished basic scientists and clinical researchers, who have a proven record of bench-to-bedside innovation in EB. The project will involve use of a unique murine model of EB that we recently generated as well as EB patient samples to maximise clinical translation of our studies, and will see the student apply existing drug discovery approaches to rationally target EB pain for the first time.

Project Details

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a rare genetic skin disorder, described by the Royal Australasian College of GPs as 'the worst disease you have never heard of'. EB is caused by mutations in genes encoding skin proteins essential for stability of the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ), and leads to extreme skin fragility. One of the main causes of morbidity in EB is chronic pain, which frequently arises even in the absence of overt skin damage and whose pathophysiology is unknown. Opioids are currently the mainstay in treating this chronic pain but they are typically ineffective and cause adverse effects. Finding novel and more effective analgesic options for EB is thus of critical importance and will improve the lives of EB patients worldwide.

This PhD project research seeks to improve understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of chronic pain in EB by defining its critical mediators, and its outcome will be to advance the development of new analgesic options in EB. To achieve this goal, the student will join a team of accomplished basic scientists and clinical researchers, who have a proven record of bench-to-bedside innovation in EB. The project will involve use of a unique murine model of EB that we recently generated as well as EB patient samples to maximise clinical translation of our studies, and will see the student apply existing drug discovery approaches to rationally target EB pain for the first time.



Faculty Research Themes

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine



Research Opportunities

PhD students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Paediatrics

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)

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