Howard B. Gutstein, MD

Anesthesiology & PeriOper Med
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 0110, Y6.5613
Houston, TX 77030
United States of America
(713) 792-5037 office
(713) 404-1157 pager

I am a clinician who directs a lab investigating mechanisms of narcotic tolerance and addiction. Narcotics have been used for centuries, and are still the most effective treatment for severe and chronic pain. Our laboratory studies the reasons why narcotic painkillers lose their effectiveness over time, causing people to become more and more tolerant to their pain relieving effects. In some cases, these drugs become completely ineffective, leading to tremendous suffering. Recently, we have discovered a class of compounds that completely reverses narcotic tolerance. Laboratory studies combine behavioral pharmacology, neuroanatomy, and molecular biological techniques to determine the molecular bases and neural circuitry underlying these effects. Neurotoxicology is in progress, and once completed, we plan to initiate clinical trials in our large population of pain patients. There are additional opportunities to interact with pain patients, both in the operating room and the pain clinic.