Douglas E. Wright, Ph.D.
Professor and Vice Chair
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Anesthesiology
Kansas INBRE Principal Investigator
National Association of IDeA Principal Investigators (NAIPI) President (2017-2020)
Co-Director, Bi-Campus Neuroscience Graduate Program
Anatomy and Cell Biology
Ph.D.: 1992, University of Kentucky
Postdoctoral: Washington University School of Medicine
Publications: Click here for a list of publications in PubMed
We are a research laboratory KU Medical Center (KUMC) that studies peripheral nerves, sensation, and pain. Our laboratory, known as the Sensory Nerve Disorder Lab, works to identify interventions and treatments to improve nerve damage, neuropathy and pain. Our laboratory has a rich history of training young scientists for careers in various academic, teaching and industry careers.
Our lab studies mechanisms that lead to peripheral nerve dysfunction. Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and peripheral nerves can be damaged by injury, disease, or even chemotherapy. Our work looks at the molecular pathways that mediate this damage. Our work is relevant to patients suffering from sensory dysfunction, pain and gait disturbances.
Our lab also studies ways to improve peripheral nerve sensation through dietary and behavioral interventions, exercise and pharmacological approaches. Our studies have shown that certain diets can reduced pain associated with obesity and pre-diabetes. Importantly, exercise can reduce pain as well.
Our lab is truly translational as we perform basic science studies and then translate our findings to clinical studies in human patients suffering from peripheral nerve dysfunction. We currently have a clinical study in patients with pre-diabetes to understand how this condition changes axons in the skin.
- Neuropathy associated with diabetes and pre-diabetes
- Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy
- Regulation of glucose control by peripheral nerves
- Dietary impact on peripheral nerve function and neuropathy
- How stress affects pain
- Transitions from acute to chronic pain
- Exercise as a treatment for neuropathy
- Heat treatment as an intervention for neuropathy