Thursday, September 22nd
Plenary Lecture | Virtual Program
Plenary Room (Exhibit Halls F/G)
Mosaic of “Pain Genes” and Biological Pathways Contributing to Human Pain
The molecular pathophysiology of chronic pain is largely unknown. The genetic and molecular studies of human pain can nevertheless provide critical insights into pathophysiological mechanisms of pain states. Genome-wide “omics” approaches allow a whole human genome scan that is hypothesis-free and permit systematic use and integration of multiple genome-wide datasets, resulting in the unbiased interpretation of data. In this talk, Dr. Diatchenko will describe three examples of how genome-wide genetic profiling, immune profiling, and transcriptome-wide profiling provide new and unexpected insights into human chronic pain molecular pathophysiology. She will discuss how these approaches identified substantial shared genetic heritability between different chronic pain conditions driven by netrin-dependent axonal guidance projection, a natural killer cell-peripheral nerve axis in fibromyalgia, and how acute inflammatory response via neutrophil activation protects against pain chronification. These results support the critical role of neuro-immune interaction in the development and persistence of human pain conditions.