Chronic pain affects 20% of the population and one third suffers from neuropathic pain, which is more difficult to treat and has a higher functional impact on people. Neuropathic pain is defined as associated with a disease of the somatosensory nervous system. The damage to the nervous system may result from an accident or surgery (even benign) or from illnesses such as diabetes, stroke or cancer and their treatment, as chemotherapy. The mechanisms that turn a lesion into a severe disability with dramatic individual and socio-economic consequences remain unclear. Understanding these mechanisms is a major goal towards the development of new therapeutic strategies to prevent neuropathic pain. Our fundamental questions aim to identify the underlying molecular and structural modifications of the nervous system in neuropathic pain using experimental pain models and combining genetic, electrophysiological, optogenetic and behavioral approaches.
Our research laboratory, integral part of the Pain Center of the CHUV, also contributes to the education and training. It welcomes and trains the students of the Schools of the Faculty of biology and medicine, in Master’s degree or of the Summer Undergraduate Research program (SUR) or of the School of Laboratory assistant of ESSanté.