The role of early life experience on pain circuits and behaviour

Stephanie Koch (primary)
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology
Maria Fitzgerald (secondary)
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology


Chronic pain affects more than two fifths of the UK population, with one third of pain sufferers experiencing pain that impedes their lifestyle. This pain is often difficult to treat, making pain-related diseases the leading cause of disability worldwide. We don’t yet know why certain people are vulnerable to chronic pain, whereas others are not but a clue to this may be in our childhood experience. Combining cutting-edge technology and molecular biology in mouse models, this project aims to determine how the nervous system learns to adapt to the environment and how this can shape our pain experience for life.


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2 Liu, Y. et al. Nature (2018).doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0515-2
3 Ueno, M. et al. Cell Rep 23, 1286-1300 e7 (2018).
4 Nelson, C. A. et al. BMJ 371, m3048 (2020).
5 Koch, S.C., Acton, D. & Goulding, M. Annu Rev Physiol 80, 189–217 (2018)

Animal disease, health and welfare
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
GeneticsMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology