Feng Wei, PhD, MD, Biography
Understanding pain mechanism and relieving chronic pain remains a major challenge in biomedicine. Pain is a multidimensional experience attributed to the multiplicity of involved brain sites via distinct anatomical pathways. Our study on experimentally induced pain in animals has shown excitatory synaptic plasticity in the CNS, including spinal dorsal horn, ventral medulla and anterior cingulated cortex. My long goal is directed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity underlying development of persistent pain. My recent interests center on dynamic signaling molecules involved in neuronal plasticity from glutamate receptor activation to gene expression. Experimentally, I like to take an integrative approach employing a wide range of techniques that cover molecular, cellular, behavior methods. Combination of novel technique for gene transfer in vivo with optical imaging system and electrophysiology favors us to monitor synaptic transmission changes and to measure architectural changes of neuronal molecules in the intact tissue and animals with different pain states. To unravel the molecular bases of pain might in the future bring some benefit in pain therapy. These projects are conducted in conjunction with Drs. Ronald Dubner, Ke Ren and Guang Bai in our department.