Northwestern Events Calendar


Dissecting the Neural Circuits Driving Pain-Induced Negative Affect - Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD

When: Thursday, December 19, 2019
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM  

Where: Ward Building, Ward 5-230, 303 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Michelle Mohney   312.503.5602

Group: Center for Translational Pain Research

Department of Physiology Seminars

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD
Professor of Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Washington University Pain Center
Washington University School of Medicine

Remote Meeting Access
Join us remotely via Panopto.

Quality of life for patients suffering from chronic pain is impacted by co-morbidities such as prolonged negative affective states. These include decreased reward valance and diminished motivation to perform goal-directed behaviors. Current pharmacological treatments focus mainly on the nociceptive component of pain, leaving severe emotional disturbances understudied and poorly treated. Twenty five percent of patients experiencing pain misuse drugs of abuse, a maladaptive behavior that can lead to involuntary overdose and/or addiction. As the opioid epidemic in the US continues to worsen, it is critical that we determine the factors and neural circuits contributing to this severe public health issue. The negative consequences of persistent pain are likely mediated by dynamic adaptations in the central nervous system; however, the mechanisms responsible for the development of pain-induced negative affective states are not well understood. Prior work has revealed that the dynorphin-kappa opioid receptor (KOR) system, in discrete brain regions, decreases the reinforcing properties of rewards and induces dysphoria and aversive behaviors. Data presented here demonstrates that the dynorphin-KOR system in the mesolimbic pathway represents an important target for therapeutical approaches in the treatment of pain-induced negative affect.

Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD, is a full Professor of Anesthesiology, Neuroscience and Psychiatry. His primary appointment is in the Washington University Pain Center in the basic research section. After completing his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Barcelona (Spain), he was awarded a fellowship to join the intramural program at NIDA to work in the laboratory of Dr. Toni Shippenberg, a pioneer in the field of opioid pharmacology. Then, Dr. Moron-Concepcion continued his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Lakshmi Devi at Mount Sinai, where he continued his studies on the mechanisms of opioid dependence. After completing his training, Dr. Moron-Concepcion moved to Columbia University in New York, where he was on the faculty of the Department of Anesthesiology for 6 years. He finally joined the faculty of Washington University on October 1, 2015. Research in his laboratory is focused in understanding the mechanisms underlying opioid addiction and the intersection with pain. In addition, his lab is interested in elucidating mechanisms underlying pain in the central nervous system and in the periphery.

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