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Kyle Baumbauer, PhD

Kyle Baumbauer portrait
Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology, Pain and Perioperative Medicine

Professional Background

Dr. Kyle Baumbauer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. from Kent State University in Experimental Psychology in 2005. Dr. Baumbauer was then a Postdoctoral Fellow at Texas Aandamp;M University (Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience) until 2011, followed by a second postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research (Neurobiology). In 2014 Dr. Baumbauer moved to the University of Connecticut, where he was an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, until 2019 when he joined the faculty at KUMC.

Dr. Baumbauer is a past Rita Allen Foundation Pain Fellow, and his work has been generously funded by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Education and Training
  • BS, Psychology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, Orlando, FL
  • BA, Sociology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, Orlando, FL
  • MA, Experimental Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, Kent, OH
  • PhD, Experimental Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, Kent, OH
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, College Station, TX
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, College Station, TX
Professional Affiliations
  • International Association for the Study of Pain, Member, 2014 - Present
  • Society for Neuroscience, Member, 2000 - Present



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 following nerve, skin, muscle injury, and 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, optogenetics, and transgenic animals. 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.

More recently, and in collaboration with Dr. Erin Young and Dr. Angela Starkweather (University of Connecticut), we have been engaging in translational pain research, focusing on the genetic and epigenetic contributors to chronic low back pain.

Current Research and Grants
  • IL-1 beta drives development of below-level chronic pain via IL-1R1 dependent nociceptor activation , Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, PI
  • Novel injectable analgesic delivery system for musculoskeletal pain management (R01), NIH/NINDS, Co-I
  • Baumbauer, K., M, Ramesh, D, Perry, M, Carney, K., B, Julian, T, Glidden, N, Dorsey, S., G, Starkweather, A., R, Young, E., E. 2020. Contribution of COMT and BDNF Genotype and Expression to the Risk of Transition from Acute to Chronic Low Back Pain.. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 36 (6), 430-439.
  • Knight, B., E, Kozlowski, N, Havelin, J, King, T, Crocker, S., J, Young, E., E, Baumbauer, K., M. 2019. TIMP-1 Attenuates the Development of Inflammatory Pain Through MMP-Dependent and Receptor-Mediated Cell Signaling Mechanisms.. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 12 (220), eCollection.
  • Adelman, P., C, Baumbauer, K., M, Friedman, R, Shah, M, Wright, M, Young, E, Jankowski, M., P, Albers, K., M, Koerber, H., R. 2019. Single-cell q-PCR derived expression profiles of identified sensory neurons.. Molecular Pain, 15 (1744806919884496).
  • Khanal, M, Gohil, S., V, Kuyinu, E, Kan, H., M, Knight, B., E, Baumbauer, K., M, Lo , K., W, Walker, J, Laurencin, C., T, Nair, L., S. 2018. Injectable nanocomposite analgesic delivery system for musculoskeletal pain management.. Acta Biomaterialia, 74, 280-290.
  • Baumbauer, K., M, Turtle, J., D, Grau, J., W. 2017. Fixed spaced stimulation restores adaptive plasticity within the spinal cord: Identifying the eliciting conditions.. Physiology & Behavior, 174, 1-9
  • Young, E., E, Kelly, D., L, Shim, I, Baumbauer, K., M, Starkweather, A, Lyon, D., E. 2017. Variations in COMT and NTRK2 Influence Symptom Burden in Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment.. Biological Research for Nursing, 19 (3), 318-328
  • Jankowski, M., P, Baumbauer, K., M, Wang, T, Albers, K., M, Davis, B., M, Koerber, H., R. 2017. Cutaneous neurturin overexpression alters mechanical, thermal, and cold responsiveness in physiologically identified primary afferents.. Journal of Neurophysiology, 117 (3), 1258-1265
  • 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, 5
  • Molliver, D., C, Rau, K., K, Jankowski, M., P, Soneji, D., J, Baumbauer, K., M, Koerber, H., R. 2016. Deletion of the murine ATP/UTP receptor P2Y2 alters mechanical and thermal response properties in polymodal cutaneous afferents.. Neuroscience, 332, 223-30
  • Baumbauer, K., M, DeBerry, J., J, Adelman, P., C, Miller, R., H, Hachisuka, J, Lee, K., H, Ross, S., E, Koerber, H., R, Davis, B., M, Albers, K., M. 2015. Keratinocytes can modulate and directly initiate nociceptive responses.. eLife, 4