Training

Postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate training opportunities 

I enjoy mentoring students and fellows in scientific research and career development, and have directed significant research projects of over 70 trainees. I have supervised the dissertation projects of 9 Ph.D. students, 6 of whom have completed their training, and 3 of whom competed successfully for NIH F31 NRSAs (B. Solway, G. Corder, and R. Griggs). Notable is Greg Corder, the lead author who collected about ¾ of the data described in our Science paper, who completed a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. G. Scherrer at Stanford University, received an NIH K99/R00 career award and now has a tenure-track faculty position at University of Pennsylvania.

I have supervised the projects of over 20 postdoctoral PhD fellows, anesthesiology medical residents, and early career assistant professors, many of whom have received NIH funding and tenure-track positions in academia. For example, two postdoctoral fellows received prestigious F32 NRSA fellowships from the NIH (K. Kuphal, J. Brightwell), and four obtained tenure-track positions in academia (K.Kuphal, D. Soignier, F. Porto, D. Ruskin). I have mentored 7 anesthesiology medical residents in research endeavors, including the first-author work of Dr. Sajay Churi, whose important research on new targets for pain control (Churi et al, 2008).

I have directed the research projects of 30 undergraduate, 17 masters, and 4 medical students, many of whom published with me or won prestigious research awards. Many of these students have gone on to PhD, MD and MD/PhD programs after graduation. PhD students typically publish 3-5 first author manuscripts in strong journals as a result of their work in my laboratory.

Mentoring Philosophy. As in the past my mentoring plan will combine the following training opportunities: i) immersion in a research-intensive environment focused on translational pain research, ii) development of oral and written communication skills, iii) acquisition of powerful experimental techniques, iv) exposure to a rich educational environment and guidance for the development and achievement of long-term goals.

Scientific Environment and facilities and faculty within the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research (PCPR). The PCPR is one of the strongest centers in the world for pre- and post-graduate training in pain research, as illustrated by links to the many courses, seminars, workshops, research presentations, and clinical shadowing opportunities as listed on its website (https://pcpr.pitt.edu/). The 14th floor Taylor laboratory is in space that is contiguous to that of six of the seven other core faculty members who make up the PCPR (https://pcpr.pitt.edu/). The PCPR T32 which was just renewed for another 5 years by NIH (2018-2023) and supports two predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees. The faculty has extensive experience in neurophysiology and optogenetic activation, in vivo imaging and mouse genetics,  molecular and biochemical approaches, and mouse genetics, spinal cord anatomy and physiology and a growing list of behavioral assays.