Michael R. Bruchas, PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology and of neurobiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Robert W. Gereau IV, PhD, the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor of Anesthesiology at the university, have received one of only 11 DECODE (Deciphering Circuit Basis of Disease) grants to be awarded. The $2 million in grants are part of a 10-year project to map the human brain, an initiative known as Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN).
Bruchas and Gereau, who also is a professor of neurobiology and director of the Washington University Pain Center, plan to use the grant to study the role of the central amygdala and locus coeruleus in the brain, and how those areas function together in a network to process the sensory and emotional components of chronic pain. They will conduct studies to test a hypothesis that chronic pain induces changes in how those structures function. They also will study whether those differences contribute to changes in mood associated with chronic pain.
The grants, funded by the neuroscience company Inscopix Inc., were awarded at a recent national meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. For more information on the DECODE grants and other awardees, follow this link.