RARC Researcher, Dr. David Barker, Receives New NJFS Grant

Congratulations to RARC Researcher, Dr. David Baker, on his new grant from New Jersey Health Foundation:

“Developing a Targeted Pharmacotherapy for Pain Without Abuse Liability”

Our goal with the project is to work towards better pain therapeutics, especially for chronic pain. Chronic pain is a debilitating condition, but also a key contributor to the prescription and abuse of opioids. In a recent paper with Elyssa Margolis (UCSF; Waung et al., 2022, Nature Communications), we identified a brain circuit where we were able to uncouple pain relief from the rewarding components of opioids that often drive abuse.  In other words, we may have identified a way to produce pain relief without abuse liability. My lab is now trying to leverage this effect by targeting a specific receptor in the circuit that might provide an avenue for developing a novel pain therapeutic.