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Molecular and functional biology lab:Molecular approach of pain transmission

Many biological phenomena such as genes and proteins are being clarified at the molecular level. This increase in knowledge is being used in various fields, extending even to engineering and agriculture, as well as medicine. We are investigating the perception of "pain" on a molecular level by using methods derived from biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology, to better understand the molecular basis of neurological functions. Pain often outlasts its usefulness as a warning, and becomes chronic after tissue damage and nerve injury. Chronic pain causes dynamic changes such as gene expression, cellular responses, and plasticity observed in neural circuits. We have isolated several molecules that block the nociception action (the physiological system causing the sensation of pain), using high-performance affinity nano-beads, and are studying the action of these molecules in gene-deficient mice. We are also developing a monitoring system for dynamic biological processing in living cells.