Dr. Arkady Khoutorsky awarded the 2017 Award in Pain

April 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Arkady Khoutorsky on being awarded the 2017 Award in Pain on behalf of the Rita Allen Foundation and the American Pain Society.

Dr. Khoutorsky was selected for funding for his project entitled “Extracellular matrix-mediated spinal cord plasticity in neuropathic pain.” His research program is aimed at better understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of chronic pain development following nerve injury. This type of pain is called neuropathic pain. The abnormal processing of sensory information in the spinal cord following nerve injury contributes to the development of pain. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In the nervous system, including spinal cord, neuronal and non-neuronal cells are surrounded by a dense network of molecules which are secreted from neurons and glia cells. This network is called the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM provides both structural support and regulates synapse formation and function, and modulates neuronal excitability. Recent studies suggest that nerve injury leads to a reorganization of the ECM in the spinal cord. Moreover, in the brain, remodeling of the ECM has been shown to affect the activity of neurons.
His recent findings support a hypothesis that nerve injury-induced remodeling of the ECM in the spinal cord might contribute to the increased transmission of the pain signal. The characterization of the ECM remodeling following nerve injury and the investigation of the mechanisms by which the ECM reorganization promotes pain might provide important insights into the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain.

Dr. Khoutorsky joined the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain at McGill University in 2016. He is appointed to both the Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Medicine.

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