Jose Moron-Concepcion

Professor of Anesthesiology, Division Chief - Division of Anesthesiology, Research Unit, Professor of Neuroscience, Professor of Psychiatry, Henry Elliot Mallinckrodt Professorship in Anesthesiology

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    Research interests

    Studies in our laboratory are focused in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying opiate dependence. In addition, given the fact that opiates are widely used in the clinic for the treatment of acute and chronic pain conditions, and the current rise in the rates of addiction to, and misuse of prescription opiates, we are interested in examining the effects of the presence of chronic pain on opiate intake and in the motivation for opiate self-administration. Additional studies will also be conducted in order to determine the effects of chronic pain on neural circuits within the reward pathway. Finally, it has been reported that opioid receptors (mu, delta, kappa) can form heterodimers following chronic opiate administration. The formation of these receptor heteromers has been reported to be involved in the mechanisms underlying opiate tolerance. Therefore, in an additional project we will examine whether the formation of a mu-delta opioid receptor heteromer is responsible for the expression of observed analgesic tolerance upon chronic opiate administration with the overall goal to develop novel drugs to enhance the analgesic properties of the opiate without side effects (i.e. tolerance).


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