Since childhood, Karen has experienced a range of symptoms related to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and did not know the cause of her symptoms or her condition. After nearly a year of medical consultations, she was finally referred to Mass General.
Departments, Centers, & Programs:
Center for Pain Medicine
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114-3117
- MD, PhD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
- Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
American Board Certifications
- Pain Medicine, American Board of Anesthesiology
Accepted Insurance Plans
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- Development animal models and gene therapy for the neurofibromatoses.
- Investigation of nociceptive circuits in the brain utilizing behavioral testing and functional imaging in the context of optogenetic modulation.
Description of Research
My laboratory currently focuses efforts on two projects. The first involves the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of Schwann-cell derived nerve sheath tumors. In particular, we are utilizing adenovirus associated vectors to deliver caspase-1 to tumor cells. Delivery of this apoptosis-generating transgene both directly kills tumor cells in which it is expressed and activates anti-tumor host responses. We are investigating the mechanisms through which our vector kills tumor and are developing the therapeutic strategy for translation into phase 0/1 clinical trials.
The second project utilizes optogenetic modulation of brain circuits to investigate nociceptive processing that occurs in the context of nociceptive sensitization associated with peripheral nerve injury. This approach may improve the positive predictive value for preclinical modeling of clinical pain.
- Brenner GJ, Felten SY, Felten DL, Cohen N and Moynihan JA. Chemical sympathectomy is associated with increased pulmonary metastases. Journal of Neuroimmunology. 1992;37:191-202.
- Brenner GJ, Cohen N and Moynihan JA. Similar immune response to nonlethal infection with Herpes Simplex virus-1 in sensitive (BALB/c) and resistant (C57Bl/6) mice. Cellular Immunology. 1994;157:510-24.
- Ji RR, Baba H, Brenner GJ and Woolf CJ. Nociceptive specific activation of ERK in spinal neurons contributes to pain hypersensitivity. Nature Neuroscience. 1999;2:1114-9.
- Prabhakar S, Brenner GJ, Tannous BA, Sena-Esteves M and Breakefield XO. Imaging and therapy of experimental schwannomas using HSV amplicon vector encoding apoptotic protein under control of a Schwann cell promoter. Cancer Gene Therapy. 2010;17(4):266-74.
- Saydam O, Ozdener GB, Senol O, Mizrak A, Prabhakar P, Stemmer-Rachamimov AO, Breakefield XO and Brenner GJ. A novel imaging-compatible sciatic nerve schwannoma model. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2011:195(1)75-77.
- Brenner GJ, Nemark JL and Raemer D. A Curriculum and Cases for Pain Medicine Crisis Resource Management Education. Anesthesia and Analgesia. In press.
- Prabhakar S, Taherian M, Gianni D, Conlon TJ, Fulci J, Brockmann J, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Sena-Esteves M, Breakefield XO and Brenner GJ. Regression of Schwannomas induced by AAV-Mediated Delivery of Caspase-1. Human Gene Therapy. In press.