New website

As of September 1, I have officially started my assistant professorship at the University of Alberta.

Come check us out at our new lab website:


My new review: Pain-induced changes in reward circuitry

Check out my new review out this month in Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.

Here I review the literature examining pain induced changes in three brain regions integral to positive and negative emotional processing: the mesolimbic dopamine system, the amygdala, and the medial prefrontal cortex. I discuss the impact these adaptations may have on pain chronicity, intractability, and reward responsiveness.

What is clear from this literature is that chronic pain induces profound and important changes in brain regions beyond traditional “pain pathways”, and the sum of these changes contribute to the complex and multifaceted experience of chronic pain.

This article is part of a special issue on Chronic Pain and Psychiatric Disorders.

You can download the paper here or find it on PubMed.

New paper out: A survey of microglial activation throughout the brain in chronic pain

graphical abstract 3

A peripheral nerve injury induced microglial activation widely throughout the brain, particularly in regions associated with pain and affect. Activation was most robust on the contralateral side – representing the injured afferent input. (From Taylor et al J Neurosci Res 2016)

Using morphological assessment and IBA-1 mRNA expression analyses, we assessed microglial activation throughout the brain in a mouse model of chronic pain. Continue reading

UCLA Undergraduate Research Day

IMG_1106.JPGHere is Kevin Lee, a super undergraduate researcher in our lab, presenting his poster at the UCLA Undergraduate Research Day. Kevin and I have been working on a project comparing sustained versus intermittent morphine treatments on inflammation and negative affect. He’s produced some stellar data, and was recently awarded the Deans Prize in Research. Congrats, Kevin!

We will be presenting this data at the SFN Annual Meeting in San Diego, this fall. Come check it out!