Ian Meng

Ian D. Meng, Ph.D.

Professor, Physiology

Director, Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function


Stella Maris Hall 203
Eligible for Student Opportunities

Dr. Ian Meng received his ScB and PhD in Neuroscience at Brown University.  Following completion of his PhD, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Howard Fields in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), studying the brain circuits mediating the analgesic properties of cannabinoids.  Dr. Meng joined the University of New England (UNE) in 2003 where he is currently a professor of Biomedical Sciences, Director of the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences (CEN), and the Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) funded Center for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function.  While at UNE, he has maintained a continuously funded research program with the aim of understanding trigeminal sensory processing underlying headache and ocular pain and homeostasis, with an emphasis on two conditions: headache and dry eye.   Dr. Meng's lab is currently investigating sensory neurons that regulate tearing and ocular pain under both normal and pathological conditions such as dry eye.  Additional projects are exploring the ability of corneal afferents to promote corneal heaing by providing trophic support to the injured cornea in dry eye.   



Brown University
Brown University

Post-Doctoral Training

Post-Doctoral Training, Department of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco (San Francisco, California)


Current research

The overarching goal of Dr. Meng's research is to understand trigeminal sensory processing underlying headache and ocular pain and homeostasis, with an emphasis on two conditions: medication overuse headache and dry eye syndrome. Dr. Meng's lab is currently investigating sensory neurons that regulate tearing and ocular pain under both normal and pathological conditions such as dry eye. In studies relevant to headache, Dr. Meng's research aims to understand the neuroplastic changes induced by the chronic use of analgesics, as such treatments have been shown to transform episodic migraines into chronic daily headache. 

Selected publications

1. Hitomi S, Kross K, Kurose M, Porreca F, Meng ID. Activation of dura-sensitive trigeminal neurons and increased c-Fos protein induced by morphine withdrawal in the rostral ventromedial medulla. Cephalalgia. 2016 May 6. pii: 0333102416648655.[Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27155000.
2. Harasawa I, Johansen JP, Fields HL, Porreca F, Meng ID. Alterations in the rostral ventromedial medulla after the selective ablation of μ-opioid receptor expressing neurons. Pain. 2016 Jan;157(1):166-73. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000344. PubMed PMID: 26335909; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4829402.
3. Meng ID, Barton ST, Mecum NE, Kurose M. Corneal sensitivity following lacrimal gland excision in the rat. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 May;56(5):3347-54. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16717. PubMed PMID: 26024120; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4453983.
4. Meng ID, Kurose M. The role of corneal afferent neurons in regulating tears under normal and dry eye conditions. Exp Eye Res. 2013 Dec;117:79-87. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2013.08.011. Review. PubMed PMID: 23994439; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3989072.
5. Kurose M, Meng ID. Dry eye modifies the thermal and menthol responses in rat corneal primary afferent cool cells. J Neurophysiol. 2013 Jul;110(2):495-504. doi: 10.1152/jn.00222.2013. PubMed PMID: 23636717; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3727064.
6. Robbins A, Schmitt D, Winterson BJ, Meng ID. Chronic morphine increases
Fos-positive neurons after concurrent cornea and tail stimulation. Headache. 2012 Feb;52(2):262-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2011.01999.x. PubMed PMID: 21929659;PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3244550.
7. Reynolds J, Bilsky EJ, Meng ID. Selective ablation of mu-opioid receptor expressing neurons in the rostral ventromedial medulla attenuates stress-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Life Sci. 2011 Aug 29;89(9-10):313-9. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2011.06.024. PubMed PMID: 21763327.
8. Meng ID, Dodick D, Ossipov MH, Porreca F. Pathophysiology of medication overuse headache: insights and hypotheses from preclinical studies. Cephalalgia. 2011 May;31(7):851-60. doi: 10.1177/0333102411402367. Review. PubMed PMID:21444643.
9. Kurose M, Meng ID. Corneal dry-responsive neurons in the spinal trigeminal nucleus respond to innocuous cooling in the rat. J Neurophysiol. 2013 May;109(10):2517-22. doi: 10.1152/jn.00889.2012. PubMed PMID: 23446686; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3653041.
10. Robbins A, Kurose M, Winterson BJ, Meng ID. Menthol activation of corneal cool cells induces TRPM8-mediated lacrimation but not nociceptive responses in rodents. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Oct 9;53(11):7034-42. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10025. PubMed PMID: 22952122; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3471555.

Research interests

Ocular pain; dry eye; migraine headache; medication overuse headache; transformation of migraine headache to chronic daily headache.

Research topics

Animal Model
COM Neuroscience and Pain
Sensory Neuron
Transgenic Mice

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