Dr. Peter Grace seeks to understand the neuroimmune mechanisms of chronic pain, which afflicts more than 100 million Americans. Current therapies, which target only neurons, are minimally effective. Identifying the neuroinflammatory mechanisms that drive chronic pain will enable new treatment strategies to be developed.
The Grace Lab was established within the Department of Symptom Research in 2016 to investigate the adaptive immune mechanisms that initiate and maintain neuropathic pain after traumatic nerve injury. Today, Dr. Grace and his team are delineating the analgesic mechanisms and therapeutic potential of the "master regulator" of the antioxidant response Nrf2 and have shown that the Nrf2 activator dimethyl fumarate relieves neuropathic pain. Ongoing work seeks to advance this drug class for clinical treatment of chronic pain.
Current Lab Members
Anand K. Singh, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Singh is a neuroscientist with more than 15 years of experience in preclinical drug testing and regulatory affairs. During his postdoctoral fellowship at Linkoping University, he investigated the neurocircuitry of the affective dimension of inflammatory pain. Currently, he handles multiple projects on chemotherapy treatment, assessing neurotoxic side effects, and reverse translation of a small molecule inhibitor targeting oxidative phosphorylation as an anticancer strategy.
Fisher Cherry, B.S.
Fisher served as a research assistant II in the Grace lab. He is now pursuing a graduate degree in genetics and genomics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Jazzmine Junigan, B.S.
Jazzmine was a research assistant in the Grace Lab while earning her bachelor's degree from the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center School of Health Professions. She is now a cytogenic technologist for Labcorp, where she performs karyotyping, cellular analysis and genetic analysis.
Michael Lacagnina, Ph.D.
Dr. Lacagnina completed his postdoctoral research training and was promoted to instructor during his time in the Grace Lab. He is now an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesia at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he investigates neuroimmune interactions in chronic pain.
Jiahe Li, Ph.D.
Dr. Li was a research scientist in the Grace Lab.
Jixiang Zhang, Ph.D.
Dr. Zhang was a research scientist in the Grace Lab.