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Prof Martin Koltzenburg
UCL Institute of Neurology
Queen Square
  • Chair of Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Motor Neuroscience & Movement Disorders
  • Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Themes
Research Summary
Despite significant advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of nociception, pain continues to be a leading health problem and a significant area of unmet clinical need for novel analgesic drugs. Recent epidemiological surveys have revealed an overall prevalence of non-malignant pain of up to 20% in the general population. Many of these pains are the symptoms of trivial, self-limiting conditions, but there remains a large number of individuals suffering unrelenting severe pain. Careful clinical studies have identified an abnormal sensitivity of primary sensory neurons as a major culprit in chronic states. As a consequence much research in the unit aims to understand the mechanisms determining the normal and abnormal excitability of nociceptors. Translating the insights from laboratory investigations into human research projects we also investigate the psychophysical consequences of an abnormally increased nociceptor activity. Pain is also a clinical problem in childhood and prematurely born babies. Our work in animals has shown that the peripheral nociceptive nervous system starts to develop at a stage that corresponds to week 6 of human pregnancy and its maturation continues well into the postnatal period.
Teaching Summary
I participate as lecturer or tutor in a number of BSc, MSc and PhD courses at UCL. In addition we have developed an active training program at the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology for medical trainees and clinical physiologists. Laboratory and literature projects are available for graduates and undergraduates.
Academic Background
1989 MD Doctor of Medicine To be updated
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