Marilia Guimaraes, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology
Institution
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Address
CCS bloco J sala J1-029 Ilha do Fundao
City
Rio de Janeiro
Country
Brazil
E-mail
marilia[at]icb.ufrj.br
Website
www.icb.ufrj.br
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2000
Country Of Origin
Brazil
Mentor Name
David Julius, Ph.D.

Research

The molecular pathways involved in detecting painful stimuli are poorly understood. In particular, TRP channels and cannabinoid receptors became relevant in this aspect since they are engaged in detection of nociceptive (painful) stimuli and sensory neuron response modulation. We are interested in understanding how these transduction systems interplay at a molecular level. For instance, anandamide, an endocannabinoid, not only activates cannabinoid receptors and promotes analgesia but also in higher concentrations activates TRPV1 channels, capable of causing nociception. Other transduction elements, such as phospholipase C, can also contribute to modulate final responses by changing activation thresholds of TRP channels and G protein-coupled receptors. Our goal is to try to build the transduction machinery present in sensory neurons piece by piece to evaluate each element�s contribution, simulating normal or physiopathological conditions, such as inflammation.