Lab News

Welcome

In our laboratory, we focus on understanding the neurobiology of chronic pain. Chronic pain is not simply a continuation of acute pain, the transition from acute to chronic pain requires persisting adaptations that govern the long-lasting plasticity of the nervous system. Improving our understanding of how pain transitions from acute to chronic will facilitate the development of novel disease-modifying drugs. Thereby improving the quality of life of those who suffer from chronic pain. Today, chronic pain affects between 11%–40% of North Americans. Chronic pain drastically impacts the quality of life, is frequently associated with mood disorders and is an expensive public health condition. Our inability to manage chronic pain gave birth to the opioid crisis.

Neurons do not work in isolation; they are constantly interacting with non-neuronal cells. Accumulating evidence suggests that non-neuronal cells such as immune cells, glial cells, keratinocytes, cancer cells, and stem cells play active roles in the pathogenesis and resolution of pain. We are particularly interested by the contribution of non-neuronal cells to the transition from acute to chronic pain.


Research

Neuro-immune interactions in chronic pain

Activated immune cells release pro-inflammatory factors which sensitize neurons leading to increased pain signaling. Less studied, but likely equally important is the role of anti-inflammatory immune cells in the remission of pain. We are currently investigating the role of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 and its relationship with opioid system in the remission and relapse of neuropathic and postoperative pain.

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Astrocytes (green) in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord
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Profiling of immune cells in the spinal cord by flow cytometry

Head and Neck Cancer Pain

A second project in the laboratory is the interaction between cancer cells and neurons in a mouse model of Head and Neck Cancer (HNC). HNC is one of the most painful cancers and pain is a predictor of survival. Cancer cells activate “pain-sensing” neurons and induce de novo axon elongation. We are investigating how, and why, cancer cells communicate to “pain-sensing” neurons.

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Activation of trigeminal ganglion neurons (green) in mouse with head and neck cancer

Experimental approaches

In our laboratory, we use mouse models to decipher the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain. We model pain states induced by injury, surgery, cancer, inflammation, or chemotherapy treatment to investigate how these insults disturb the interaction between neurons and immune cells and the plasticity of the somatosensory system. To address the contribution of neuro-immune and onco-neuron interactions to chronic pain, we combine molecular, biochemistry, immunostaining, pharmacology, genetically modified mice, viral gene therapy, cell transfer and animal behavior in experimental models of chronic pain.

Research Sponsors

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rita allen foundation

People

About:

Geoffroy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and the Neuroscience program at Michigan State University. Geoffroy is interested in the contribution of Neuro-Immune interactions to chronic pain development and resolution. He received his PhD degree from the Pasteur Institute / University of Lille in France. He moved to the US to perform his postdoctoral training at MD Anderson Cancer Center under the mentorship of Drs. Hui-Lin Pan, Jean-Pierre Issa, Cobi Heijnen, Robert Danzter, and Annemieke Kavelaars. In addition to research, Geoffroy likes exploring nature, spending family time, and read about European middle ages.

Geoffroy Laemet
Geoffroy Laumet, PhD

Principal Investigator
Email: laumetge@msu.edu

About:

Dr. Joseph Folger got his bachelors and PhD from Cornell University. He then spent 13 years working for Dr. George Smith in MSU’s Department of Animal Science. He worked on numerous projects in female bovine reproduction, primarily focused on the question of what makes a good egg a good egg. Joseph started working for Dr. Laumet in January 2020 and has been learning behavioral assays and an entirely new field of research into chronic pain. Joseph currently manages the lab and the mouse colony and assists with everyone’s projects. For fun, He likes to read, play video games and spend time with my wife, daughter and pets.

Joseph Folger
Joseph Folger, PhD

Lab Manager
Email: folgerjo@msu.edu@msu.edu

About:

Kufre Inyang is a postdoctoral fellow that joined the lab in March of 2020. From Huntsville, TX, he received his bachelors in Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University in 2012 before completing masters as well as PhD in Neuroscience at University of Texas at Dallas in 2015 and 2019 respectively in Dr. Ted Price's Pain lab. He is currently investigating the role of opioid and IL10 receptors in pain relapse. Outside of the lab, Kufre enjoys playing sports, reading, and baking.

Kufreobong Inyang, PhD
Kufreobong Inyang, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email: inyangku@msu.edu

About:

Jaewon received her B.S. in biotechnology at Korea University. She started her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular biology at Michigan State University in 2021. Her research interest is neuroimmune interaction underlying pain. She is studying how immune cells can dampen or aggravate the pain sensation by modifying the neuron as well as the inflammatory environment. In her free time, Jaewon enjoys playing piano, listening to classical music, and watching cute cat videos.

Jaewon Sim
Jaewon Sim

Graduate student
Email: simjaewo@msu.edu

About:

Andrew Dagenais is originally from Bloomfield Hills. He attended and graduated from MSU in Human Biology through Lyman Briggs College and now he is a second-year medical student at MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Andrew’s specialty interests are in Anesthesia, Emergency, and Radiology. He enjoys traveling, snowboarding, skiing, and camping in the outdoors. In Dr. Laumet’s lab, his project investigates the differential expression of IL-10 in response to inflammation between male and female mice.

Andrew Dagenais
Andrew Dagenais

DO student
Email: dagenai9@msu.edu

About:

Karli is a senior undergraduate student studying physiology and bioethics through Lyman Briggs and the Honors College. After graduation, she plans on attending medical school. While she has an open mind about which specialty she would like to pursue, right now Karli is most interested in emergency medicine. She spends her free time being active, exploring the outdoors, relaxing with friends, or going to all of the best dessert places in East Lansing!

Karli Monahan
Karli Monahan

Undergraduate Research Assistant
Email: monaha43@msu.edu

About:

Christine Evans is an undergraduate student studying physiology and attending Lyman Briggs College here at Michigan State University. She assists in the investigation of intra-tumoral sensory nerves and tumor-released small extracellular vesicles as they relate to cancer pain and has a supporting role in various other projects in the lab. After graduating, she hopes to continue her education at a medical school to eventually become a physician. Her hobbies include skiing, baking, and spending time with friends and family.

Christine M. Evans
Christine M. Evans

Undergraduate Research Assistant
Email: evansc23@msu.edu

Former Lab Members

  • Matthew Heussner: 2019-2020 DO student
  • Jesus Rosario-Claudio: Summer 2021 BPNP student (current UG research assistant at University of Puerto Rico at Cayey)

Recent Publications

Can FDA-Approved Immunomodulatory Drugs be Repurposed/Repositioned to Alleviate Chronic Pain? Inyang KE, Folger JK, Laumet G. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2021 May 26. doi: 10.1007/s11481-021-10000-z. Online ahead of print.

The µ-δ opioid heteromer masks latent pain sensitization in neuropathic and inflammatory pain in male and female mice. Inyang KE, George SR, Laumet G. Brain Res. 2021 Apr 1;1756:147298. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2021.147298. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

7β-(3-Ethyl-cis-crotonoyloxy)-1α-(2-methylbutyryloxy)-3,14-dehydro-Z Notonipetranone Attenuates Neuropathic Pain by Suppressing Oxidative Stress, Inflammatory and Pro-Apoptotic Protein Expressions. Khan A, Khan A, Khalid S, Shal B, Kang E, Lee H, Laumet G, Seo EK, Khan S. Molecules. 2021 Jan 1;26(1):181. doi: 10.3390/molecules26010181.

A Novel Syngeneic Immunocompetent Mouse Model of Head and Neck Cancer Pain Independent of Interleukin-1 Signaling. Heussner MJ, Folger JK, Dias C, Massri N, Dahdah A, Vermeer PD, Laumet G. Anesth Analg. 2021 Apr 1;132(4):1156-1163. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005302.

Nasal administration of mesenchymal stem cells reverses chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in mice. Boukelmoune N, Laumet G, Tang Y, Ma J, Mahant I, Singh SK, Nijboer C, Benders M, Kavelaars A, Heijnen CJ. Brain Behav Immun. 2021 Mar;93:43-54. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.12.011. Epub 2020 Dec 11.

CD3+ T cells are critical for the resolution of comorbid inflammatory pain and depression-like behavior. Laumet G, Edralin JD, Dantzer R, Heijnen CJ, Kavelaars A. Neurobiol Pain. 2020 Jan 21;7:100043. doi: 10.1016/j.ynpai.2020.100043. eCollection 2020 Jan-Jul.

Interleukin-10 resolves pain hypersensitivity induced by cisplatin by reversing sensory neuron hyperexcitability. Laumet G, Bavencoffe A, Edralin JD, Huo XJ, Walters ET, Dantzer R, Heijnen CJ, Kavelaars A. Pain. 2020 Oct;161(10):2344-2352. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001921.

Complete Publication Links

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Contact Us

Lab Location

ISTB
Interdisciplinary Science & Technology building (ISTB)
766 Service Rd, East Lansing, MI
Office#5018
Laboratory#5011

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Open Positions

Post Doctoral Fellows:

Please inquire with Dr. Laumet about current opportunities.

Rotation Students:

Dr. Laumet is a faculty member in the following training programs. Students in these programs can inquire about rotations in the lab.


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