Drs. Bin Feng and Guoan Zheng Receive a $2 Million U01 Grant from the NIH

Drs. Bin Feng (PI) and Guoan Zheng (Co-PI) have received a notice of award for their NIH U01 grant. The grant is for three years and the amount is $2.03M.

Title: Determine the topology and molecular profiles of nociceptive DRG neurons innervating the colon and rectum.

Chronic visceral pain is the cardinal symptom of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affecting up to 15% of the U.S. population. Efficacious and reliable therapeutic intervention is still unavailable despite the tremendous economic burden imposed by visceral pain. Pharmacological treatments of visceral pain in IBS are largely unsatisfactory with side effects outweighing therapeutic benefits. In contrast, neuromodulation (e.g., spinal cord stimulation) as an alternative to drugs has much fewer side effects. Recent advances in neuromodulation of the dorsal root ganglions (DRG) relieves certain somatic and neuropathic pain. Hence, the DRG appears to be a promising target for next-generation neuromodulatory devices to treat IBS-related visceral pain. We aim to leverage our recent technical advances in optical electrophysiology via Ca2+ imaging and single-cell transcriptome assay of sensory neurons to characterize the topology and molecular profiles of colorectal nociceptors in the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral DRG. The outcomes of this research will guide the design of next-generation neuromodulatory devices that target DRG for effective management of chronic visceral pain while minimizing off-target side effects.

U01 NS113873 PI (Feng) co-PI (Zheng) 9/24/2019 – 8/31/2022 $2,030,740

National Institutes of Health, NINDS