A primary aim of the COBRE is to increase the number of neuroscience investigators at UNE and to build a research community that will sustain a vibrant and competitive research center. As part of this aim, the COBRE funds the research efforts of four talented and innovative investigators leading projects related to pain and sensory function.

The goal of this funding is to provide these investigators with the support necessary to develop their novel research projects to the point where each can be independently funded with its own separate federal grant.

Ling Cao, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Cao studies the interaction between the immune system and the nervous system, exploring the impact of immune cells on pain stemming from nerve injury. View bio

Project Title

Interaction between calcitonin-gene-related-peptide and CD40 on CNS glial cells in neuropathic pain

Geoffrey Ganter, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Ganter uses genome-wide screens in the fruit fly, Drosophila Melanogaster, to identify novel genes involved in perception of noxious stimuli. View bio

Project Title

Genes involved in antinociception in Drosophila Melanogaster

Lei Lei, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Lei studies the development of nociceptive neurons, with a particular focus on the transcription factors regulating the plasticity of these neurons following peripheral nerve injury. View bio

Project Title

Function of the transcription factor Sox11 in regulating the plasticity of nociceptive neurons after nerve injury

Colin Willis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Willis studies the relationship between the integrity of the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and headache, exploring factors regulating the integrity of the BBB as well as the mechanisms through which breakdown of the BBB can contribute to conditions such as migraine. View bio

Project Title

Triptan-induced modulation of blood-brain barrier integrity and nociception