Funded Projects

Project # Project Title Research Focus Area Research Program Administering IC(s) Institution(s) Investigator(s) Location(s) Year Awarded
1UC2AR082197-01
Neural Architecture of the Murine and Human Temporomandibular Joint Preclinical and Translational Research in Pain Management Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain (RE-JOIN) NIAMS DUKE UNIVERSITY DONNELLY, CHRISTOPHER RYAN; CAI, DAWEN ; EMRICK, JOSHUA JAMES Durham, NC 2022
FOA Title: HEAL Initiative: Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
FOA Number: RFA-AR-22-009
Summary:

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are the most common form of chronic pain in the face and mouth area (orofacial pain), but relatively little is known about the biological causes of these conditions. This project will define the properties of sensory neurons that connect to tissues that make up the TMJ which connects the lower jaw and skull. This research aims to lay groundwork for development of new therapeutic approaches to treat these painful conditions.

1UC2AR082195-01
Comprehensive Functional Phenotyping of Trigeminal Neurons Innervating Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Tissues in Male, Female and Aged Mice, Primates, and Humans With and Without TMJ Disorders (TMJD) Preclinical and Translational Research in Pain Management Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain (RE-JOIN) NIAMS UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HLTH SCIENCE CENTER AKOPIAN, ARMEN N; BOADA, MARIO DANILO; ERNBERG, MALIN; MACPHERSON, LINDSEY J San Antonio, TX 2022
FOA Title: HEAL Initiative: Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
FOA Number: RFA-AR-22-009
Summary:

Scientists do not know the details of how the nervous system interacts with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the lower jaw with the skull. This project aims to comprehensively explain the functions, types, neuroanatomical distributions, and adaptability (plasticity) of specific nerve cells in the brain (trigeminal neurons) that connect with the TMJ. The research will analyze nerve-TMJ connections associated with chewing muscles and other structures that form the TMJ such as cartilage and ligaments. The project will analyze samples from both sexes of aged mice, primates, and humans with and without painful TMJ disorders. This research aims to uncover potential treatment and prevention targets for managing TMJ pain.

1UC2AR082200-01
Neuronal Anatomy, Connectivity, and Phenotypic Innervation of the Knee Joint Preclinical and Translational Research in Pain Management Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain (RE-JOIN) NIAMS BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE LEE, BRENDAN; ARENKIEL, BENJAMIN R; RAY, RUSSELL S; WYTHE, JOSHUA D Houston, TX 2022
FOA Title: HEAL Initiative: Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
FOA Number: RFA-AR-22-009
Summary:

Pain caused by degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis (OA) is a major public health challenge that significantly affects quality of life for millions of Americans. There are no therapies available that offer pain relief and reverse the course of OA.  This project will use state-of-the-art technologies to create a neuronal connectivity and molecular map of the mouse knee joint, which will help identify molecular signatures that can be targeted for therapy. The research will include animals of different ages and of both sexes and test joint effects after exercise, in animals with OA, and after gene therapy that delivers an experimental OA medication directly to the joint.

1UC2AR082196-01
Innervation of the Knee and TMJ  Preclinical and Translational Research in Pain Management Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain (RE-JOIN) NIAMS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ALLEN, KYLE D; ALMARZA, ALEJANDRO JOSE Gainesville, FL 2022
FOA Title: HEAL Initiative: Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
FOA Number: RFA-AR-22-009
Summary:

A complex network of different nerve cell subtypes connects to joints in different ways throughout body regions, such as the knee and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the lower jaw and skull. This project aims to identify disease-specific pain symptoms using clinically relevant rat models of TMJ and knee osteoarthritis – and compare findings with disease-specific pain symptoms in human patients with the same conditions. This research may lead to a better understanding of how different nerve cell subtypes contribute to joint pain as well as how these nerve cell subtypes change with age and disease.

1UC2AR082186-01
Mapping the Joint-Nerve Interactome of the Knee Preclinical and Translational Research in Pain Management Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain (RE-JOIN) NIAMS RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER MALFAIT, ANNE-MARIE; LOTZ, MARTIN K; MILLER, RICHARD J Chicago, IL 2022
FOA Title: HEAL Initiative: Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
FOA Number: RFA-AR-22-009
Summary:

This project will use a variety of technologies to create a comprehensive, 3D map of how sensory neurons activate knee joints in both mice and humans. The research will use imaging techniques and molecular approaches that measure gene expression. The findings will help create a comprehensive gene expression profile map of individual cells in the nerve fibers leading to the knee, as well as describe how nerve cells and joint cells interact at the most fundamental level. This research will generate a rich anatomical and molecular resource to understand the molecular basis of joint pain and guide the development of novel pain-relieving strategies.