Steven Prescott


Contact via Hospital for Sick Children


Key Research Areas
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Recent Research Projects

Chronic Pain Network

2015/16-2019/20 • $10,770,525 • PI,CO,Other
In addition to profound personal suffering, the cost of chronic pain to society across the lifespan is greater than that from cancer and heart disease combined. Canada is recognized as a world leader in pain research productivity and training, and per capita produces twice as many pain related...

Probing the spike initiation properties of primary somatosensory neurons using optogenetics

2017/18-2019/20 • $475,495 • PI
Nerve cells, or neurons, generate electrical pulses known as spikes. Spikes are used to transmit information over long distances, e.g. from your fingertip to your spinal cord. Generating too many or too few spikes can have serious consequences. In some types of chronic pain, for example, sensory...

Chloride dysregulation and neuropathic pain: Linking molecular mechanisms with altered pain processing via identification of cellular and circuit level changes

2017/18-2019/20 • $394,477 • PI,CO
Imagine gentle touch causing excruciating pain. Such pathological pain develops in up to 1 in 15 people because of insults to the nervous system. Despite identification of many "pain" molecules, so-called neuropathic pain remains hard to treat. The slow pace of developing better pain medications...

Neuropathic pain through misregulated excitability and abnormal neural coding

2019/20 • $289,989 • PI
The nervous system encodes information using pulses of electricity known as spikes. Our perception of sensory input relies on spike-based neural codes. If neurons generate too many or too few spikes, our sensory experience can be profoundly altered. This is what occurs in neuropathic pain....

Regulation of microglial pannexin-1 channels in arthritis pain

2019/20 • $175,185 • PI,CO
Pain is a key feature of arthritis, a disease of the joint and a leading cause of disability in both young and old. Despite recent advances in treating joint inflammation, and the widespread use of pain medications by arthritis patients, adequate pain control is an ongoing and challenging health...

Differential Effects of KCC2 Downregulation on Spinal Dorsal Horn Interneurons Result in Neuropathic Pain

2018/19-2019/20 • $150,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain state caused by damage to the nervous system. About 3 million Canadians suffer from such pathological condition that is associated with increased drug prescriptions and visits to health care providers. As a consequence, quality of life is significantly...

Investigating how mechanosensitive neurons contribute to allodynia in neuropathic pain

2018/19-2019/20 • $70,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Millions of Canadians suffer from chronic pain that severely compromises their quality of life. One of the most debilitating symptoms is mechanical allodynia, wherein gentle touch is perceived to be extremely painful. The fact that current analgesics are not very effective at treating allodynia...

Computational deconstruction of pain processing

2013/14-2018/19 • $300,000 • PI
Recall a bad sunburn. Imagine the searing pain caused by your shirt collar touching your neck, or by the shower water on your back. Stimuli that normally attract no attention, or that should be soothing, now make you recoil in pain. If the sunburn was instead a nerve injury, the same...

Regulation of microglial pannexin-1 channels in arthritis pain

2018/19 • $100,000 • PI,CO
Pain is a key feature of arthritis, a disease of the joint and a leading cause of disability in both young and old. Despite recent advances in treating joint inflammation, and the widespread use of pain medications by arthritis patients, adequate pain control is an ongoing and challenging health...

Probing the spike initiation properties of primary somatosensory neurons using optogenetics

2016/17 • $100,000 • PI
Nerve cells, or neurons, generate electrical pulses known as spikes. Spikes are used to transmit information over long distances, e.g. from your fingertip to your spinal cord. Generating too many or too few spikes can have serious consequences. In certain types of chronic pain, for example,...

Patents