Tanya Fischer, MD, PhD

Assistant Clinical Professor

Research Departments & Organizations

Neurology

Research Interests

Chronic Pain; Diabetic Neuropathies; Erythromelalgia; Neurology; Sodium Channels

Research Summary

The goal of my research projects is to examine the pathophysiology underlying chronic neuropathic pain symptoms utilizing both an animal model of chronic neuropathic pain and human subjects with chronic neuropathic pain symptoms.

My recent work using streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic neuropathy, a well-established animal model, has shown that thalamic neurons develop increased spontaneous firing, hyperexcitability, and enlarged receptive fields in this model of diabetes. My results indicate that intrinsic changes in the excitability of thalamic neurons occur in the STZ model of diabetes, and suggest that changes in thalamic activity contribute to chronic pain associated with diabetes.

Given the importance of burn-associated pain in soldiers and the need for better treatments for burn-associated pain, I am also studying burn-associated pain in humans and changes in sensory thresholds. In addition, I help to conduct studies on hereditary neuropathic pain. By identifying mutations in the Nav1.7 channel, a channel which has been shown to play a major role in inflammatory and neuropathic pain, and assessing the mutant effects by electrophysiological recordings of Nav1.7 currents, better therapeutic regimens may be discovered.

The ultimate goal of my work is to better understand the underlying mechanisms in the generation/amplification of chronic neuropathic pain, thus allowing for the development of novel treatment modalities for pain.

Speciailzed Terms: chronic neuropathic pain; sodium channels; diabetic neuropathy; erythromelalgia

Selected Publications

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