FacultyCharles Jeff Woodbury

Graduate Neuroscience Program

Faculty Picture






Research in my lab is focused on the development, plasticity, and evolution of the skin sensory system, with particular emphasis on nociceptive (i.e., pain) pathways in the spinal cord. The overall goals of my research are to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms that guide the formation and shape the functional and structural organization of the somatosensory system under both normal and pathological conditions. Current and ongoing areas of research interest in my lab include:

  • Development of nociceptors and their response to early peripheral trauma
  • Development of nociceptive circuitry and plasticity following peripheral trauma
  • Development of lamination in the dorsal horn
  • Mechanisms underlying laminar specificity of sensory neurons
  • Molecular phenotypes of myelinated and unmyelinated nociceptors
  • Development of sensory neuron identity
  • Functional anatomy of sensory endings in the skin
  • Evolution of nociceptive and thermoreceptive systems across the transition to homeothermy 

    Woodbury Lab

To address these and other issues in somatosensory neurobiology, we employ a variety of model systems ranging from genetically modified mice and developing chicken embryos to a variety of cold-blooded vertebrates. Techniques in the lab range from standard neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, and immunohistochemical methods applied to populations of developing and adult neurons, to detailed analyses combining physiological, anatomical, and immunocytochemical approaches to the study of individual, physiologically identified neurons. The latter single neuron-level analyses, conducted both in vitro and in vivo, provide unsurpassed power towards the study of nociceptor biology.


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