Robert W. Gereau, PhD


Neurosciences Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 314-362-8312

  • 314-362-8795

  • 5530 Clinical Sciences Research Building



  • @robgereau

  • pain, optogenetics, ion channel, synaptic transmission, signal transduction, electrophysiology, in vivo imaging, genetics

  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of chronic pain, preclinical and translational research

Research Abstract:

Over 100 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from chronic pain, but the treatments available to these patients are few and their use is limited by severe side effects of these medications. Unfortunately for these individuals, little progress has been made in the development of new types of medications to treat chronic pain.

In our lab, we utilize a combination of behavioral studies, patch clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics, in vivo imaging, molecular and genetic approaches to understand the signaling pathways involved in nervous system plasticity that underlies pain sensitization. Our mission is to identify novel approaches to reverse this maladaptive plasticity to provide new therapeutic strategies to reduce pain and its impact on patient quality of life.

Work in the lab also includes clinical science aimed at translating findings from the lab into new or improved therapies for patients with pain. These studies include comparative studies of human physiology to preclinical models, as well as healthy human volunteer studies aimed at establishing proof of concept for novel analgesic therapies based on findings from the laboratory.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
The Gereau lab is committed to providing a supportive, diverse and inclusive environment,
and to promoting the training and career development of people from all
backgrounds. We are steadfast in our belief that diversity brings strength to
our lab culture and to our science, and we work hard to provide a nurturing and
supportive space for people from groups typically underrepresented in science

Selected Publications:

Cavallone LF, Montana MC, Frey K, Kallogjeri D, Wages JM, Rodebaugh TL, Doshi T, Kharasch ED, Gereau RW 4th. The metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 negative allosteric modulator fenobam: pharmacokinetics, side effects, and analgesic effects in healthy human subjects. Pain. 2020 Jan;161(1):135-146. PMCID: PMC6923598.

Mickle AD, Won SM, Noh KN, Yoon J, Meacham KW, Xue Y, McIlvried LA, Copits BA, Samineni VK, Crawford KE, Kim DH, Srivastava P, Kim BH, Min S, Shiuan Y, Yun Y, Payne MA, Zhang J, Jang H, Li Y, Lai HH, Huang Y, Park SI, Gereau RW 4th, Rogers JA. A wireless closed-loop system for optogenetic peripheral neuromodulation. Nature. 2019 Jan;565(7739):361-365. PMCID: PMC6336505.

Samineni VK, Grajales-Reyes JG, Sundaram SS, Yoo JJ, Gereau RW 4th. Cell type-specific modulation of sensory and affective components of itch in the periaqueductal gray. Nature Communications. 2019 Sep 25;10(1):4356. PMCID: PMC6761157.

Zhang Y, Mickle AD, Gutruf P, McIlvried LA, Guo H, Wu Y, Golden JP, Xue Y, Grajales-Reyes JG, Wang X, Krishnan S, Xie Y, Peng D, Su CJ, Zhang F, Reeder JT, Vogt SK, Huang Y, Rogers JA, Gereau RW 4th. Battery-free, fully implantable optofluidic cuff system for wireless optogenetic and pharmacological neuromodulation of peripheral nerves. Science Advances. 2019 Jul 5;5(7):eaaw5296. PMCID: PMC6611690.

Samineni VK, Grajales-Reyes JG, Copits BA, O’Brien DE, Trigg SL, Bruchas MR and Gereau RW (2017) Divergent modulation of pain by glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal subpopulations in the periaqueductal grey. eNeuro. 4(2). PMCID: PMC5370278

Valtcheva M*, Copits BA*, Davidson S, Pullen MY, Sheahan TD and Gereau RW (2016) Surgical extraction of human dorsal root ganglia to produce viable cultures for functional and genetic studies. Nature Protocols. 11(10):1877-88. PMCID: PMC5082842

Park SI, Brenner DS, Shin G, Morgan CD, Copits B, Chung HU, Pullen MY, Noh KN, Davidson S, Oh SJ, Yoon JY, Jang KI, Samineni VK, Norman M, Grajales-Reyes JG, Vogt SK, Sundaram SS, Wilson KM, Ha JS, Xu RX, Pan TS, Kim TI, Huang YG, Montana MC, Golden JP, Bruchas MR, Gereau RW*, and Rogers JA* (2015) Soft, stretchable, fully implantable miniaturized optoelectronic systems for wireless optogenetics. Nature Biotechnology. 33(12):1280-1286. PMCID: PMC4880021

Davidson S, Copits BA, Zhang JM Page G, Ghetti A and Gereau RW (2014) Human sensory neurons: Membrane properties and sensitization by inflammatory mediators. Pain. 155(9):1861-70. PMID: 24973718; PMCID: PMC4158027

Lai HH, Gardner V, Ness TJ, and Gereau RW (2014) Segmental Hyperalgesia to Mechanical Stimulus in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome - Evidence of Central Sensitization. Journal of Urology. 191(5):1294-9. PMID: 2431609

Last Updated: 3/23/2021 12:07:27 PM

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