Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, & Anatomy
Room 2.143E Medical Research Building
: 1069 |
(409) 772-6707 | Fax:
(409) 762-9382 | email@example.com
Education and Training
DVM in Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, S. Korea
PhD in Veterinary Physiology, Seoul National University, Seoul, S. Korea
Post-Doctoral, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, S. Korea
Post-Doctoral, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
MS in Veterinary Physiology, Seoul National University, Seoul, S. Korea
I have a long-standing research interest in chronic pain and
developing therapeutic tools to manage this debilitating condition.
There is growing appreciation that changes in synaptic strength are
associated with chronic pain, and primary afferent input contributes to
the dynamic synaptic plasticity. This has been readily demonstrated in
neuropathic pain patients and algogenic irritants-injected healthy
subjects by experimentally blocking peripheral nerve activity in the
primary painful foci, which rapidly abolishes tactile allodynia in the
area remote from the primary foci. Accordingly, I am currently studying
the underlying mechanisms of this dynamic synaptic plasticity between
primary afferent neurons and spinal cord neurons with
electrophysiological, immunohistochemical, and optogenetic approaches.
I have also studied chronic visceral pain associated with
inflammatory bowel diseases as well as functional bowel disorders.
Visceral organs are innervated by at least two different sensory
pathways (e.g., vagal and splanchnic nerve pathways for upper visceral
organs, and lumbar splanchnic and pelvic nerve pathways for lower
pelvic organs), and my work has contributed to understanding of the
characteristics of these different sensory pathways by, for example,
examining their ion channel expression and electrophysiological
properties. In addition, my research goal to identify potential
therapeutic targets led me to development and characterization of
animal models of visceral pain, and discoveries of important roles of
two-pore domain K+ (K2P) channels in primary afferent neurons and
condition-specific involvement of colonic inflammatory molecules in
La, J.H., Schwartz, E.S. and Gebhart, G.F. Differences in
the expression of transient receptor potential channel V1, transient
receptor potential channel A1 and mechanosensitive two pore-domain K+
channels between the lumbar splanchnic and pelvic nerve innervations of
mouse urinary bladder and colon. Neuroscience. 186:179-87. 2011.
La, J.H. and Gebhart, G.F. Colitis decreases
mechanosensitive K2P channel expression and function in mouse colon
sensory neurons. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 301:G165-74.
Feng, B., La, J.H., Tanaka, T., Schwartz, E.S., McMurray,
T.P. and Gebhart, G.F. Altered colorectal afferent function associated
with TNBS-induced visceral hypersensitivity in mice. Am J Physiol
Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 303:G817-G824, 2012.
Feng, B., La, J.H., Schwartz, E.S. and Gebhart, G.F. Neural and
neuro-immune mechanisms of visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel
syndrome. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 302:G1085-98. 2012.
La, J.H., Feng, B., Schwartz, E.S., Brumovsky, P.R. and
Gebhart, G.F. Luminal hypertonicity and acidity modulate colorectal
afferents and induce persistent visceral hypersensitivity. Am J Physiol
Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 303:G802-G809, 2012.
Schwartz, E.S., La, J.H., Davis, B.M., Albers, K.M. and
Gebhart, G.F. TRPV1 and TRPA1 antagonists prevent the transition of
recurrent acute pancreatitis to chronic pancreatitis. J. Neurosci.
La, J.H. and Gebhart, G.F. Condition-specific role of
colonic inflammatory molecules in persistent functional colorectal
hypersensitivity in the mouse. Neurogastroenterol Motil.
Feng, B., Zhu, Y., La, J.H. and Gebhart GF. Experimental and
computational evidence for an essential role of NaV1.6 in spike
initiation at stretch-sensitive colorectal afferent endings. J
Neurophysiol. 113(7):2618-2634, 2015.
Schwartz, E.S., Xie, A., La, J.H. and Gebhart GF. Nociceptive
and Inflammatory Mediator Upregulation in a Mouse Model of Chronic
Prostatitis. PAIN. 156(8):1537-1544, 2015.
La, J.H., Feng, B., Kaji, K., Schwartz, E.S. and Gebhart GF.
Roles of isolectin B4-binding afferents in colorectal mechanical
nociception. PAIN. 157(2):348-354. 2016.
Link to PubMed Publications