IASP Announces 2020 Early Career Research Grant Recipients

Apr 27, 2020

IASP is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Early Career Research Grants, Dr. Paulino Barragan-Iglesias and Dr. Jerry Kalangara.

The IASP Early Career Research Grant facilitates the development of young researchers just starting their careers as independent investigators.

Dr. Paulino Barragan-Iglesias is an assistant professor at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Center for Basic Sciences, Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Mexico. He received his PhD in Neuropharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from CINVESTAV in 2014. Then, he moved to the US from 2015 to 2019, where he completed a postdoctoral training in the Pain Neurobiology Research Group at UT-Dallas. His research goal is to understand the mechanisms through which tissue and nerve injury produce nociceptive plasticity leading to persistent pain. Recently, he has been interested in the study of translation regulation and modulation of axonal transport in primary afferent fibers in response to diabetic-, chemotherapy-, and virus-induced peripheral neuropathies. His final goal is to alleviate the burden of chronic pain through basic research, therapeutic discovery and education. His grant project, “Deciphering mechanisms underlying virus-evoked painful neuropathies" hypothesizes that “viral injection produces interferons that then activates receptors for this immune molecule that are expressed on DRG neurons which leads to activation of the ISR via PKR in DRG neurons causing viral-evoked pain.  If this process is sustained, it may lead to an intractable neuropathy.”

Dr. Jerry Kalangara is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Emory University and the Division Chief of Pain Medicine at the Atlanta VA Health Care System. Through his project, "Functional evaluation of humoral immunity in a real-world cohort of opioid users," he seeks to elucidate the impact of chronic opioid therapy on humoral immunity, specifically through measuring antibody responses to the seasonal influenza vaccine in a real world cohort of opioid users and controls. The investigation of this relationship between opioid therapy and potential increased susceptibility to viral infections is especially germane during this time and would have significant implications in other vulnerable populations.