September 5, 2013
11:00 am to 12:00 pm EDT

Sponsored by

Symposium Course Description:

Chronic pain is a debilitating disease with substantial impact on quality of life. Many patients are unresponsive to available analgesics because of insufficient pain relief or intolerable side-effects. Despite extensive efforts, drug discovery aimed at chronic pain has seen a number of failures in recent years, mainly due to the lack of predictive in vitro models. In order to better envisage target engagement and effects of candidate compounds it is important to use relevant cell and tissue models, taking into account the complexity of interactions in both health and disease, as early as possible. Recent observations indicate that phenotypic screening has been more productive in generating first-in-class drugs while an overemphasis on individual targets has been suggested as one of the reasons for the lack of productivity in drug discovery. Using phenotypic approaches may lead to the identification of molecules that modify a disease by acting on a previously undescribed target or by acting simultaneously on multiple targets. We are using primary dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in culture as a cell model for chronic pain. These neurons retain their sensory functionality and when supplemented with nerve growth factor (NGF) they can be used to mimic peripheral sensitization. In our lab, we focus on functional responses such as neuronal excitability. The main advantage of using excitability assays is that irrespective of whether the studied compounds affect processes such as ion channel synthesis, transport, insertion into the plasma membrane, or act directly on the ion channels, these effects will have an impact on overall neuronal function and hence excitability. Using this phenotypic approach, we have thus the possibility to identify novel mechanisms as well as compounds having various modes of action along the pain pathway.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the underlying mechanisms causing chronic pain.
  • Learn about phenotypic screening approaches in pain research.
  • Gain knowledge of compound profiling to advance research in the CNS and pain therapeutic fields.
  • Get a comprehensive overview of the Cellectricon phenotypic screening platform.

Who Should Attend:

  • Research & Development scientists in the following fields: CNS, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Dementia, Translational science, Lead Discovery, External Drug Discovery, In vitro Screening, Compound Profiling, High Content Biology, Electrophysiology, Ion Channels
  • Assay developers
  • Lab Managers
  • External Research Solutions managers
  • Scientific Collaboration and Business Development managers

Program Agenda:

11:00 am – 11:15 am - Underlying pain mechanisms.

11:15 am – 11:30 am - Phenotypic screening approaches for pain research.

11:30 am – 12:00 pm - Development of a novel phenotypic assay for CNS/Pain research.

Speaker Information:

Bio Paul Karila:

Paul KarilaPaul is responsible for building and providing Discovery Services at Cellectricon’s labs in Mölndal, Sweden. Paul joined Cellectricon from AstraZeneca (AZ) where he held leadership positions at the Departments of Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Paul led teams responsible for ion channel and GPCR profiling in LI-LO phase, mainly on analgesia targets, and most recently a target identification/target validation team focusing on implementing native, human tissue use in the drug discovery process. Prior to joining AZ, Paul was a Postdoctoral Fellow at School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA (1997 to 1998) studying neurobiology using electrophysiological methods. Paul earned his PhD at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden in 1997.

Bio Charlotta Blom:

Charlotta BlomCharlotta recently joined the Cellectricon Discovery Service team as a Senior Researcher. Charlotta also holds a position as assistant research professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, where she studied mechanisms involved in stem cell migration and stroke repair. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Queensland Brain Institute, Queensland University, Australia, where she studied molecular mechanisms of brain development. Charlotta earned her PhD at Lund University, Sweden, in 2005 with a thesis on peripheral nerve regeneration.