Lucy Donaldson

New Targets for Pain Control

Over the last few years, several new pain killers have been approved for use, are in early clinical trial, or are progressing well through development. Despite this we are still largely dependent on drugs based on willow bark (aspirin and derivatives) and poppies (morphine and other opiates). In our work in analgesic drug development, we have taken a completely new approach of targeting the process the body uses to generate many different proteins from a single gene – alternative RNA splicing. Using this approach, we aim to use endogenous systems in the body to treat neuropathic pain.

Lucy is a neurophysiologist with expertise in sensory neuronal function in disease states. Starting out as a dentist, Lucy studied for her undergraduate (Dentistry BDS, Neuroscience BSc (Hons) and postgraduate (PhD, Pharmacology) degrees at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked at the University of California Davis (’94-’96), the University of Leicester(’96-’98), the University of Bristol (’99-2013) and now as Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham. She has expertise in the areas of chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain, and in human taste perception in health and disease. She is co- founder and consultant to a spin-out drug development company Exonate.

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