Gary J. Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Anaesthesia
Harvard Medical School
Associate Anesthetist
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
MD University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry 1995
PhD University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry 1995
aavs; caspase 1; hyperalgesia; injections epidural; luciferases firefly; neurilemmoma; neurofibromatoses; nociceptors; posterior horn cells; receptors n-methyl-d-aspartate; schwann cell tumors; schwann cells; sciatic nerve; spinal cord Research Areas
  • 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 odulation.

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.
Harvard Catalyst Publications Clinical Profile

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