“Man on Fire” syndrome, also known as Inherited Erythromelalgia (IEM), is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by burning pain in the hands and feet. The chronic pain of most patients with IEM cannot be relieved by common pain killers making this disease a major unmet medical need.

Precision Medicine is an approach that tailors the prescribed medical treatment to the individual’s genetic makeup. Dr Yang Yang discusses advances in the treatment of IEM using a pharmacogenomic approach. 

This precision medicine approach, guided by genomic analysis and functional profiling, provides a promising new way to extinguish the fire of the burning man. (2018)

CURING THE PAIN OF THE BURNING MAN: TARGETING THE NAV1.7 SODIUM CHANNEL 
News: Pain-in-a-Dish Expands the Nav1.7 Research Menu
by Neil Andrews from PAINRESEARCHFORUM, April, 2019

MEA recordings of AP [action potential] firing of iPSC-SNs from P300 [son], P301 [mother], and P303 [unaffected father].

Two new studies use sensory neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells to examine the pain mechanisms of inherited erythromelalgia and congenital insensitivity to pain.

 

When it comes to the experimental tools that researchers use to understand pain at the cellular and molecular level, dorsal root ganglion neurons from animals—and more recently from human donors—have traditionally received most of the fanfare. But there is a new game in town. Pain researchers are now turning to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and the sensory neurons that can be derived from them (iPSC-SNs), to understand painful conditions and the neurobiological mechanisms that drive them. Two new studies now show the value of this “pain-in-a-dish” approach, particularly when combined with more traditional strategies, in patients with rare pain disorders caused by mutations in the sodium channel Nav1.7.

Read more here for Dr. Yang's work on human iPSCs and multi-electrode array (MEA) recording to uncover a mysterioius case of pain resilience. 

Y Lab culture and value is heavily shaped by the teaching of Steve Jobs, article RANDOM WALK TO GRAPHENE by Andre Geim and book (Apprentice to Genius: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty) by Robert Kanigel, among others. 

Y Lab thanks the Showalter Research Trust  and Eli Lilly for funding the lab to make our research possible.

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updated: 02-13-2019