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Postdoctoral Fellows

Olivia Eller-Smith

Olivia Eller-Smith, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Kyle Baumbauer

More than 100 million Americans currently live with chronic pain, which is more than those suffering from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Unfortunately, the etiology of many chronic pain disorders is unknown, which has led to a lack of effective treatment options. My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying chronic pain to close the gaps in our knowledge. Specifically, I will be studying how inflammation or nerve injury affects the function of nociceptors, which are sensory nerve endings that when sensitized, contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain. Additionally, I will be studying how satellite glial cells that reside around nociceptor cell bodies in the dorsal root ganglia influence nociceptor function. Our goal is to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of chronic pain.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Rebecca Foright

Rebecca Foright, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow 
Mentor: Julie Christianson

My broad research interests include exercise, body weight regulation, sex differences, and stress. Under the guidance of Drs. Christianson and Thyfault, my current projects are focused on the mechanisms responsible for the increased risk of developing obesity following early life stress and a role for exercise in mitigating that risk

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Anatomy and Cell Biology
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Mailstop 3038
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-7400