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Summer School, June 2009 Photos from the London Pain Consortium Summer School, held 21st-26th June 2009 in El Escorial, Madrid, Spain.

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Archive workshop and seminar slides Professor Peter Karmerman…
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Ph.D. Positions
Why do a PhD in pain research?
In the past two decades pain has become one of the most exciting fields of nervous system research. Pain is required for maintaining the integrity and survival of the organism but sustained or chronic pain can result in secondary symptoms such as anxiety and depression and can dramatically decrease quality of life. CNS areas that are activated by pain-producing stimuli show remarkable plasticity. Noxious stimulation always results in changes in gene expression within the central nervous system and different chronic pain states generate unique neurochemical and pharmacological signatures in the brain. New insights into how sensory information is centrally processed in the face of a constantly changing molecular architecture will fundamentally change the way we approach pain control and develop new analgesics. Pain is also a model system for many fundamental questions in neurobiology, such as specification of cellular phenotype, formation of appropriate connections, maintenance of stability in normal function, mechanisms underlying plasticity, and the processes leading to disintegration of normal function during aging and disease.
The recent rapid progress in pain research has been driven by molecular and cell biology. These techniques continue to identify genes potentially important in pain processing, and have stimulated the search for novel analgesic drugs as well as promoting understanding of a number of general neurobiological phenomena, such as activity-dependent plasticity. Yet the function of these genes often remains poorly understood, even though there is now a wide range of transgenic mice which allow examination of particular gene function in the whole animals. The challenge for the future is to combine cellular and molecular advances with physiological and pharmacological techniques to understand the integrated functioning of the nervous system related to the clinical problem of pain.