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Michael J. Caterina

Caterina.MichaelMICHAEL J. CATERINA, MD, PhD is a Professor of Neurosurgery, Biological Chemistry and Neuroscience. He was recently named the inaugural Director of the Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins. He is also a member of the Center for Sensory Biology and leads the Brain Sciences Institute’s Pain Working Group.

Dr. Caterina earned his MD and PhD degrees from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1995. Since he joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1999, Dr. Caterina and his colleagues have used gene knockout mice to evaluate the potential contributions of other heat-stimulated ion channels to heat and pain sensation, have studied the biophysical changes exhibited by TRP channels during persistent stimulation, and have discovered that even non-neuronal cells, like the epithelial cells that line the skin, may play a role as “first responders” to painful environmental stimuli and communicate the presence of these stimuli to the nervous system. The Caterina lab has also been collaborating with other labs at Johns Hopkins to examine the relative importance of different subpopulations of sensory neurons to the onset and maintenance of chronic pain and to develop new methods and reagents that will allow pain sensitivity and the underlying cellular mechanisms to be better quantified. Dr. Caterina’s work has been recognized with a number of national and international awards, including the Patrick Wall Young Investigator Award from the International Association for the Study of Pain in 2005 and the Donlin M. Long Pain Service Award from the Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Research Program in 2013.