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Kyle Baumbauer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
PhD 2005, Kent State University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Texas A&M University
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh

Publications: Full NCBI Bibliography

Research Interests:

Chronic pain affects millions of people worldwide, more than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined, and despite this high prevalence rate, the mechanisms underlying many chronic pain disorders are not fully understood. These gaps in knowledge have led to a lack of effective treatment options, and therefore there is a significant need to develop novel therapeutics. My work primarily focuses on how inflammation affects primary afferent, and in particular, nociceptor function. We study inflammation in the context of peripheral nerve, skin, and muscle injury, as well as following spinal cord injury. We use a variety of methodologies to address questions in the lab, including behavioral modeling, ex vivo electrophysiology, analysis of whole tissue and single cell gene expression, RNASeq, flow cytometry, and genetic manipulations, including the use of optogenetics. Work from our lab examining cutaneous inflammation has recently identified a novel role for a protein known as tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), and has demonstrated that its expression and administration can attenuate acute and chronic sensitivity associated with inflammation. Within the realm of spinal cord injury, up to 80% of patients report experiencing pain that is treatment resistant. We have identified a series of genes that are expressed in nociceptors very early following injury, and that they contribute to the generation and persistence of nociceptor sensitivity. By focusing on these identified molecules and genes, we hope to develop methods that halt the progression of chronic pathological pain states.

Selected publications:

  1. Knight, B.E., Kozlowski, N., Havelin, J., King, T., Crocker, S.J., Young, E.E., & Baumbauer, K.M. (in press). TIMP-1 attenuates the development of cutaneous inflammation-induced evoked and ongoing pain through receptor-mediated cell signaling. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience.
    *See preprint on BioRxiv: DOI:
  2. Adelman, P, Baumbauer, K.M., Friedman, R., Shah, M., Young, E.E., Jankowski, M.P., Albers, K., & Koerber, H.R. (accepted). Single cell q-PCR derived expression profiles of identified sensory neurons. Molecular Pain.
    *See preprint on BioRxiv: DOI:
  3. Jankowski, M.P.*, Baumbauer, K.M.*, Wang, T., Albers, K.M., Davis, B.M., and Koerber, H.R. (2017). Cutaneous neurturin overexpression alters mechanical, thermal, and cold responding in physiologically identified primary afferents. Journal of Neurophysiology, 117, 1258-1265. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00731.2016.
    *Contributed equally to this work
  4. Hachisuka, J., Baumbauer, K.M., Omori, Y., Snyder, L.M., Koerber, H.R., & Ross, S.E. (2016). Semi-intact ex vivo approach to investigate spinal somatosensory circuits. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.22866.
  5. Baumbauer, K.M.*, Deberry, J.J.*, Adelman, P.C., Miller, R.H., Koerber, H.R., Davis, B.M., & Albers, K.M. (2015). Keratinocytes can initiate cutaneous sensations. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.09674.
    *Contributed equally to this work
  6. Grau, J.W., Huie, J.R., Lee, K.H., Hoy, K.C., Huang, Y.-J., Turtle, J.D., Strain, M.M., Baumbauer, K.M., Miranda, R.M., Hook, M.A., Ferguson, A.R., & Garraway, S.M. (2014). Metaplasticity and behavior: How training and inflammation affect plastic potential within the spinal cord and recovery after injury. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 8:100. DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00100.
  7. Baumbauer, K.M., Lee, K.H., Puga, D.A., Hughes, A.J., & Grau, J.W. (2012). Temporal regularity determines the impact of electrical stimulation on tactile reactivity and response to capsaicin in spinally transected rats. Neuroscience, 227, 119-133.
  8. Grau, J.W., Huie, J.R., Garraway, S.M., Hook, M.A., Crown, E.D., Baumbauer, K.M., Lee, K.H., Hoy, K.C., & Ferguson, A.R. (2012). Impact of behavioral control on the processing of nociceptive stimulation within the dorsal horn. Frontiers in Integrative Physiology, 3, 1-21.
  9. Huie, J.R., Baumbauer, K.M., Lee, K.H., Beattie, M.S., Bresnahan, J.C., Ferguson, A.R., & Grau, J.W. (2012). Glial tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) generates metaplastic inhibition of spinal learning. PLoS ONE, 7, e39751. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0039751.
  10. Baumbauer, K.M., Huie, J.R., Hughes, A.J., & Grau, J.W. (2009). Timing in the absence of supraspinal input II: regular spaced stimulation induces a lasting alteration in spinal unction that depends on the NMDA receptor, protein synthesis, and BDNF. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 14383-14393.
Last modified: Sep 06, 2019

Kyle Baumbauer, PhD


Kyle Baumbauer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

MS 3038, 3901 Rainbow Blvd.
2095 Hemenway
Kansas City, Kansas 66160

P: 913-588-9968
F: 913-588-2710