An Early Stage Researcher position on mechanisms of cancer pain has become available. This position is part of the BonePain II project (www.bonepain.eu) based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London.
Pain is an important and often poorly controlled symptom of bone cancer. The growing problem of opioid abuse makes a search for alternative analgesics of high importance. We have models of good face validity of bone cancer pain in rodents and we know that a primary cause of pain in both patients and in the animal models is sensitization of the neuronal circuitry reporting on the status of bone. The project will focus on in vivo studies in which neuronal activity is monitored indirectly via Ca imaging. Sensors such as GCaMPs are expressed in peripheral or central pain signalling neurones in rodents. In vivo optical recording of nociceptive activity is a new development that is not widely available. It allows parallel recording of multiple pain-signalling neurones. We will use it here to characterise the sensitization of nociceptive circuits in normal animals and in models of bone cancer pain and test the effects of novel analgesic agents.
BonePainII is a European Innovative Training Network to promote frontline research, innovation and education within bone pain. Millions in Europe and beyond suffer from bone pain, which is a debilitating complication of many musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis and bone metastasis. The BonePainII network has participants from 6 European countries and encompasses 8 academic groups and 4 industries all committed to creating an outstanding training program for 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) to elucidate the mechanisms of bone pain and develop new medicines.
As part of the MSCA ITN scheme, it is expected that the candidate will register for and work towards a PhD degree, with the aim of completing this within the fixed term of appointment. The candidate will also be expected to work closely with the other Early Stage Researchers, both at own and at other participating institutions; to go on secondment at one or more of the BonePainII institutions, and to participate to the Network-wide training program.