Glenn J. Giesler, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neuroscience


Research Interests:

Our laboratory's major interest is in determining the neural mechanisms responsible for conveying information about painful and itch-producing stimuli from the spinal cord to the brain. In recent years, we have been interested in the mechanisms underlying the relief from itch produced by scratching and how morphine induces itching.

In our studies, we use several techniques. Physiologically, we examine the responses of individual neurons that form these projections to painful and itch-producing stimulation of the skin and noxious stimulation of visceral tissues. In addition, we use a number of anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques to examine these projections and immunocytochemical techniques to determine the neurotransmitters, receptors or channels that may be involved.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Khasabov SG, Malecha P, Noack J, Tabakov J, Giesler GJ Jr, Simone DA. Hyperalgesia and sensitization of dorsal horn neurons following activation of NK-1 receptors in the rostral ventromedial medulla. J Neurophysiol. 2017;118:2727-2744.
  • Lipshetz B, Giesler GJ. Effects of scratching and other counter-stimuli on responses of trigeminothalamic tract neurons to itch-inducing stimuli in rats. J Neurophysiol. 2016;115:520-529
  • Jansen NA, Giesler GJ Jr. Response characteristics of pruriceptive and nociceptive trigeminoparabrachial tract neurons in the rat. J Neurophysiol. 2015;113:58-70.
  • Moser HR, Giesler GJ Jr. Itch elicited by intradermal injection of serotonin, intracisternal injection of morphine, and their synergistic interactions in rats. Neuroscience. 2014;274:119-27.
  • Moser HR, Giesler GJ. Characterization of pruriceptive trigeminothalamic tract neurons in rats. J Neurophysiol. 2014;111:1574-89.
  • Moser HR, Giesler GJ Jr. Analgesia and itch resulting from intrathecal morphine: contrasting effects on different populations of trigeminothalamic tract neurons. J. Neurosci. 2013;33:6093-6101.
  • Davidson S, Zhang X, Khasabov SG, Moser HR, Honda CN, Simone DA, Giesler GJ Jr. Pruriceptive spinothalamic tract neurons: Physiological properties and projection targets in the primate. J Neurophysiol. 2012;108:1711-1723.

Former Graduate Students:

Hannah Moser (Ph.D. 2013, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Steve Davidson (Ph.D. 2009, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

James T. Katter (Ph.D. 1993, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Robert Dado (Ph.D. 1992, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Rami Burstein (Ph.D.). Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurobiology, Harvard University.

Kenneth D. Cliffer (Ph.D.). Staff Scientist, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Terrytown, NY.