I am driven to create localized pain relievers that won’t reach the brain
Keeping pain relieving drugs out of the brain would prevent drug addiction. Pharmaceutics professor Carolyn Fairbanks seeks that goal, as well as ways to stop pain impulses before they reach the brain.
The search for nonaddictive pain relief
“The burden of chronic pain for individuals and for our society, our community, is very great.” Carolyn Fairbanks, Professor Click to tweet
Carolyn Fairbanks wants to keep pain impulses and potentially addictive pain relieving drugs away from the brain. That means restricting them to peripheral areas like skin and internal organs or to the spinal cord.
Besides finding drugs to act in these areas, she is researching a gene therapy approach to pain relief. With that method, neurons in the periphery or spinal cord would be engineered to produce inhibitory signals that could halt pain impulses en route to the brain, which would otherwise interpret the impulses as pain.