Erin D. Milligan

The University of New Mexico, USA

Erin Milligan received her Ph.D. degree in 2000 at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colo, USA, where she continued her postdoctoral training examining spinal interleukin-10 gene therapy to control pathological pain for potential clinical applications. In 2007, she moved to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM, USA, where she teaches and continues to conduct research in her laboratory. A primary focus of Erin Milligan’s laboratory is understanding mechanisms of neuropathic pain that include a glial (astrocytes and microglia in the central nervous system) role. The activation of cannabinoid type 2 receptors, thought to be expressed on glia, induces anti-inflammatory signaling. Ongoing research includes examining underlying mechanisms in the central nervous system of selective cannabinoid type 2 receptor ligands that lead to neuropathic pain control, with the goal of developing these agents as potential pain therapeutics. In addition, Erin Milligan’s laboratory examines the delivery of genes to the spinal cord that encode anti-inflammatory cytokines, like interleukin-10, that act to suppress the production and function of glial-neuronal signaling previously implicated in creating and maintaining diverse forms of chronic pain. Further examined are the mechanisms by which these various gene therapy approaches lead to long-lasting pain control and the improvement of gene delivery by applying synthetic micro- and nanopolymers used as drug delivery platforms that may enhance gene expression and therapeutic effects.

Biography Updated on 2 December 2010

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