Departmental Status: Professor Emeritus
Primary/Cross-appointments: Department of Oral Physiology, Faculty of Dentistry
Degrees: PhD 1974
Affiliations: Toronto Western Research Institute
Courses Taught: PSL1047 (Organizer)
Research Division : Brain Research and Integrated Neurophysiology B.R.A.I.N. Platform
Research Interests: Research is directed towards improved understanding of pain and temperature sensation and alleviation of chronic pain and movement disorders in human patients.
Questions under investigation are:
1. Central neuropathic pain; mechanisms of central sensitization in the trigeminal system; thermal grill illusion of pain.
2. Mechanisms underlying effectiveness of pallidotomy and subthalamic stimulation in alleviating parkinsonian symptoms.
Keywords: Neurophysiology/ Sensory Systems/ Pain/ Temperature/ Touch/ Thalamus/ Movement Disorders/ Parkinson's Disease.
The major interest of our lab is in elucidating the central mechanisms involved in perception of touch, pain and temperature. However, we are also involved in studies pertaining to the function of thalamus and globus pallidus in movement and in the alteration of neuronal characteristics in these regions in various types of movement disorders (e.g. Parkinson's disease). Most of the studies employ extracellular single unit recordings although some anatomical and psychophysical techniques are also used. Projects involve both animal and human studies. The human studies involve primarily neuronal recordings and microstimulation in awake patients undergoing functional stereotactic surgery.
The major current studies are examining:
the role of thalamus in mediating acute and chronic pain,
ability of the human thalamus to undergo plastic changes as a result of acute or chronic deafferentations,
the processing of innocuous thermal information at the trigeminal/spinal and thalamic levels,
mechanisms underlying descending modulation of pain,
functional characteristics of globus pallidus neurons in man.
Our lab has strong ties with researchers in the Dental School and at the Toronto Western Research Institute.
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Phone: (416) 978-5289
Fax: (416) 978-4940
Address: Department of Physiology
Medical Sciences Building
University of Toronto
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, Ontario, Canada