Cicely Schramm

Ph.D. 2010

Thesis Title:

Promoting peripheral opioid analgesia: the role of interactions between mu-
and delta-opioid receptor agonists

Current Position:

Principal Scientist, Essen BioScience

Former Position(s):

Postdoctoral Fellow
Oncology Research Unit, Tumor Cell Biology
Pfizer, Inc.

Undergraduate Institution and Major/Degree:

Iowa State University, BS in Genetics, 2003

Current Position:

Post Doctoral Fellow
University of California, San Diego

Major Advisor(s):

Christopher Honda, Ph.D.

Research Description:

Peripherally applied opioids are ineffective under normal conditions. However, peripheral opioid receptors become functionally competent following inflammatory insult. Our lab employs teased fiber electrophysiological techniques to examine what fiber and receptor types are responsible for mediating opioid analgesia after inflammation. Increased understanding of how the endogenous peripheral opioid system becomes activated may lead to future pain treatments that take advantage of this system, thereby avoiding the risk of abuse and centrally mediated side effects associated with current opioid therapy.

Lab Rotations:

  • Lorene Lanier
  • S. Hossein Fatemi
  • Mark Thomas
  • Chris Honda

Courses Taken Beyond the Core Courses:

  • PSY 8960 - Synaptic Plasticity in Drug Abuse
  • STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis
  • PHCL 5462 - Neuroscience of Drugs of Abuse
  • PHCL 8221 - Neurobiology of Pain and Analgesia
  • CMB 8361 - Neuro-Immune Interactions
  • PHCL 8208 Neuropsychopharmacology
  • PHCL 8320 Readings in Neurobiology (Karolinska pain course)

Graduate Level Minor:

  • Supporting program, emphasis on PHCL

Conferences Attended:

  • Spring Pain Research Conference - 2006, 2008
  • Midwest Pain Interest Group annual meeting - 2005
  • Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - 2004, 2007, 2008


  • Wu-Zhang AX*, Schramm CL*, Nabavi S, Malinow R, Newton AC. Cellular pharmacology of protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) contrasts with its in vitro profile: implications for PKMζ as a mediator of memory. J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(16):12879-85. *These authors contributed equally to this work
  • Schramm CL, Honda CN. Co-administration of δ- and μ-opioid receptor agonists promotes peripheral opioid receptor function. Pain 2010;151(3):763-770.


  • Schramm C, Honda CN. The function of peripheral mu opioid receptors is enhanced by delta opioid receptor agonists, Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, Washington, D.C., 2008
  • Satterfield C, Schramm CL, Honda CN. The functional state of peripheral mu-opioid receptors is differentially regulated during early and later stages of inflammation, Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, San Diego, CA, 2007.

Committee Members:

  • Don Simone - chair
  • Chris Honda - advisor
  • Stan Thayer
  • Carolyn Fairbanks

Awards and Honors:

  • PharmacoNeuroImmunology Training Grant, 2007-present
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award 2004-2005
  • National Merit Scholarship 1999-2003

Professional Memberships:

  • Society for Neuroscience

Home Town:

  • Laurens, IA
Cicely Schramm