Not to confuse with the public radio station, research at NPR is focused upon the sensory encoding and processing of the peripheral nervous system. Particular interests are given on 1) how the sensory afferent neurons detect and transmit pain-related sensory information, 2) the peripheral mechanisms that underlie the sensory aberrations in chronic pain and 3) translating scientific discoveries into next-generation neuromodulatory strategies and devices that target peripheral nerves/neurons for the better management of chronic pain.
We are focused on but not limited to the study of visceral pain, i.e., pain arising from the internal organs.
We employ a multi-disciplinary approach that includes 1) experimental studies on the sensory nerve endings by in vitro electrophysiology and biomechanics of visceral tissue, 2) state-of-the-art molecular biology and generic knock-out/knock-in mouse models, and 3) computational simulations and rigorous mathematical analysis that integrates the experimental findings to deepen the theoretical understanding of visceral afferent encoding and sensitization. As biomedical engineers, we are also enthusiastic in engineering the next generation tools for neuroscience studies in general and visceral pain management in particular.