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Gerald F. Gebhart, PhD
Director, Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research
Professor, Anesthesiology, Medicine/GI , Neurobiology and Pharmacology & Chemical Biology
Office Address
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Undergraduate School
University of Illinois, BS, Pharmacy
Medical/Graduate School
The University of Iowa, PhD, Pharmacology
Center for Research in Neurological Sciences, University of Montreal, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neuroscience
Subspecialty Research Interests
Mechanisms of Visceral Pain and Hypersensitivity
The principal focus of the laboratory is investigation of the mechanisms of enhanced sensitivity to pain (i.e., hypersensitivity). Because pain arising from internal organs is least well understood among sources of pain, recent research has addressed mechanisms of visceral pain and visceral hypersensitivity, focusing on urinary bladder, colon and pancreas. Experimental approaches include: use of knock out mice to study research questions, in vitro single sensory nerve fiber recording, whole cell patch clamp recording from identified (labeled) sensory neurons, and procedures for quantification or localization of peptides, G protein-coupled receptors, immediate early genes and ion channels that play an important role in pain and hypersensitivity.
Selected Publications
  • Schwartz ES, La JH, Davis BM, Albers KM, Gebhart GF.  TRPV1 and TRPA1 antagonists prevent the transition of recurrent acute pancreatitis to chronic pancreatitis. J Neuroscience - in press
  • La JH, Feng B, Schwartz EE, Brumovsky B, Gebhart GF. Luminal hypertonicity and acidity modulate colorectal afferents and induce persistent visceral hypersensitivity. Am J Physiol 303:G802–G809, 2012. PMID: 22859365.
  • Feng B, La JH, Schwartz ES, Gebhart GF. Neural and neuro-immune mechanisms of visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome. Am J Physiol - 302:G1085-G1098, 2012. PMID: 22403791.
  • Feng B, La JH, Tanaka T, McMurray TP, Schwartz ES, Gebhart GF. Long-term sensitization of mechanosensitive and insensitive afferents in mice with persistent colorectal hypersensitivity.  Am J Physiol 302:G676-G683, 2012 PMID: 22268098. 
  • Brumovsky PR, Robinson DR, La JH, Seroogy KB, Lundgren KH, Albers KM, Kiyatkin M, Seal RP, Edwards RH, Watanabe M, Hökfelt T, Gebhart GF. Expression of vesicular glutamate transporters in sensory and autonomic neurons innervating the mouse colorectum.  J Comp Neurol  519:3346-3366, 2011. PMID: 21800314
  • Feng B, Gebhart GF. Characterization of silent afferents in the pelvic and splanchnic innervations of the mouse colorectum. Am J Physiol 300: G170-G180, 2011.