How do you feel: Molecular & Cellular Mechanisms of Itch, Touch & Pain
with Prof. Diana Bautista
Saturday December 21, 2019 at 11:00 AM
100 Genetics and Plant Biology, UC Berkeley
Humans rely on the sensations of itch, touch and pain for a broad range of essential behaviors. For example, acute pain acts as a warning signal that alerts us to noxious mechanical, chemical and thermal stimuli, which are potentially tissue damaging. Likewise, itch sensations trigger reflexes that may protect us from disease-carrying insects. Despite these essential protective functions, itch and pain can outlast their usefulness and become chronic debilitating conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. Dr. Bautista will summarize what is known about the biology of itch, touch and pain, and then focus on her latest research identifying novel mechanisms that drive chronic itch and pain.
Diana M. Bautista Diana Bautista is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology & Biochemistry from the University of Oregon, her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University with Dr. Rich Lewis and was a postdoctoral fellow in Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco with Dr. David Julius. She joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2008. Dr. Bautista’s lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of itch, touch and pain, under normal and disease conditions. Her research has been funded by the NIH since 2009 and her work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the 2014 Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, a 2016 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar Award and a 2019 NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award. Her current research is focused on neuroimmune interactions in chronic pain and itch.