Donald A. Simone, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences


Research Interests:

The general focus of our research is the study of anatomical, physiological, and pharmacological mechanisms underlying pain sensation. Primary research interests include neural encoding of cutaneous and muscle pain. We are interested particularly in the neural mechanisms that account for hyperalgesia (enhanced sensitivity to pain) following tissue injury or disease, and the modulation of excitability of sensory neurons involved in pain transmission. Psychophysical, behavioral, and electrophysiological techniques are used in parallel studies using animals and humans.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

Cataldo G, Rajput S, Gupta K, Simone DA. Sensitization of nociceptive spinal neurons contributes to pain in a transgenic model of sickle cell disease. Pain. 2015 Apr;156(4):722-30.

Uhelski ML, Khasabova IA, Simone DA. Inhibition of anandamide hydrolysis attenuates nociceptor sensitization in a murine model of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Mar 1;113(5):1501-10.

Khasabov SG, Malecha P, Noack J, Tabakov J, Okamoto K, Bereiter DA, Simone DA. Activation of rostral ventromedial medulla neurons by noxious stimulation of cutaneous and deep craniofacial tissues. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Jan 1;113(1):14-22.

Khasabova IA, Yao X, Paz J, Lewandowski CT, Lindberg AE, Coicou L, Burlakova N, Simone DA, Seybold VS. JZL184 is anti-hyperalgesic in a murine model of cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy. Pharmacol Res. 2014 Dec;90:67-75.

de Carvalho Barbosa M, Kosturakis AK, Eng C, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Kennedy WR, Simone DA, Wang XS, Cleeland CS, Dougherty PM. A quantitative sensory analysis of peripheral neuropathy in colorectal cancer and its exacerbation by oxaliplatin chemotherapy. Cancer Res. 2014 Nov 1;74(21):5955-62.

Simone DA, Khasabov SG, Cain DM, Hamamoto DT, Khasabova IA. Changes in response properties of nociceptors and dorsal horn neurons in a murine model of cancer pain. Fiziol Zh. 2011;57(5):75-7.

Cain DM, Vang D, Simone DA, Hebbel RP, Gupta K. Mouse models for studying pain in sickle disease: effects of strain, age, and acuteness. Br J Haematol. 2011 Dec 15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08977.x.

Brink TS, Pacharinsak C, Khasabov SG, Beitz AJ, Simone DA. Differential modulation of neurons in the rostral ventromedial medulla by neurokinin-1 receptors. J Neurophysiol. 2011 Oct 26.

Khasabova IA, Gielissen J, Chandiramani A, Harding-Rose C, Odeh DA, Simone DA, Seybold VS. CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists promote analgesia through synergy in a murine model of tumor pain. Behav Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;22(5-6):607-16.

Kennedy WR, Selim MM, Brink TS, Hodges JS, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Foster SX, Nolano M, Provitera V, Simone DA. A new device to quantify tactile sensation in neuropathy. Neurology. 2011 May 10;76(19):1642-9.

Khasabova IA, Chandiramani A, Harding-Rose C, Simone DA, Seybold VS. Increasing 2-arachidonoyl glycerol signaling in the periphery attenuates mechanical hyperalgesia in a model of bone cancer pain. Pharmacol Res. 2011 Jul;64(1):60-7. Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Selim MM, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Hodges JS, Simone DA, Foster SX, Vanhove GF, Kennedy WR. Variation in quantitative sensory testing and epidermal nerve fiber density in repeated measurements. Pain. 2010 Dec;151(3):575-81. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

Kennedy WR, Vanhove GF, Lu SP, Tobias J, Bley KR, Walk D, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Simone DA, Selim MM. A randomized, controlled, open-label study of the long-term effects of NGX-4010, a high-concentration capsaicin patch, on epidermal nerve fiber density and sensory function in healthy volunteers. J Pain. 2010 Jun;11(6):579-87. Epub 2010 Apr 18.

Kohli DR, Li Y, Khasabov SG, Gupta P, Kehl LJ, Ericson ME, Nguyen J, Gupta V, Hebbel RP, Simone DA, Gupta K. Pain-related behaviors and neurochemical alterations in mice expressing sickle hemoglobin: modulation by cannabinoids. Blood. 2010 Jul 22;116(3):456-65. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Davidson S, Zhang X, Khasabov SG, Simone DA, Giesler GJ Jr. Relief of itch by scratching: state-dependent inhibition of primate spinothalamic tract neurons. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):544-6. Epub 2009 Apr 6.

Potenzieri C, Brink TS, Simone DA. Excitation of cutaneous C nociceptors by intraplantar administration of anandamide. Brain Res. 2009 May 1;1268:38-47. Epub 2009 Mar 10.

Current Graduate Students:

Rebecca Speltz Paiz (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Former Graduate Students:

Carl Potenzieri (Ph.D. 2009, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Lisa Johanek (Ph.D. 2004, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Donald Simone