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Papers of the Week

2022 May


36 Suppl 1

Discovery of Novel Pain Therapies Without Side-effects by Combining Targeted Mutagenesis and Phenotype-based Drug Screening in Larval Zebrafish.


Opioid drugs provide effective pain relief but come with considerable side-effects including addiction and respiratory depression which can be lethal with overdose. During the COVID19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic reached almost 100,000 deaths in the United States, highlighting the urgent need to identify pain killers with reduced liability so they can be safely prescribed. One approach to develop safe pain killers is to combine existing opioid analgesics with drugs reducing respiratory depression. Using our novel biotechnology platforms in larval zebrafish, we propose to identify new molecular targets and drugs with potent analgesic properties, reduced respiratory liability, and without addictive properties.