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Davis Chosen to Give Rising Star Showcase Presentation

February 24, 2021

Maggie T. Davis, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, has been chosen to give a Rising Star showcase presentation at the virtual annual meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP) on April 30, 2021.

Davis will be one of six researchers featured by SOBP in its Rising Star showcase, a two-hour session that focuses on early career investigators. Each researcher will speak for 20 minutes. The title of Davis’s presentation is “mGluR5 Availability in Chronic Pain: An in Vivo Study With [18F]FPEB Pet Study.”

Read more about her presentation:

Chronic pain (CP) is a significant source of both personal and public health burden, accounting for an estimated $635 billion in care-related costs each year. Of further concern, CP is frequently treated with opioid-based analgesic medications, leading to high rates of drug misuse and frequently to opioid addiction. Thus, identification of alternative pharmacological targets capable of rapidly reducing pain in CP without leading to substance misuse must be prioritized. Dr. Davis will be presenting the results of a novel in vivo PET study examining the role the metabotropic glutamate receptor type 5 (mGluR5) - a potential treatment target for chronic pain with low abuse-potential - in individuals reporting chronic pain and those with no pain. Results suggest markedly higher frontal in vivo mGluR5 availability in individuals with CP relative to demographically matched no pain individuals. Further, in CP mGluR5 availability was negatively associated with performance in select domains of cognitive functioning (attention and working memory). Observed differences in mGluR5 availability suggest a possible role for glutamate neurotransmission, and mGluR5 specifically, in the pathophysiology of CP and highlight the need for further evaluation of glutamatergic treatment targets in CP.

Davis completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Yale Neuroimaging Sciences Training Program in 2018 under the mentorship of Irina Esterlis, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Her research interests center on use of molecular neuroimaging methods to enhance understanding of the relationship between suicidal behavior and stress-related psychopathology.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on February 24, 2021