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Yun Guan, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Yun Guan, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Research Interests: Neurobiological mechanisms of pain and hyperalgesia after tissue or nerve injury

Background

Dr. Yun Guan is an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His multidisciplinary research focuses on mechanisms of chronic pain and developing better strategies and novel targets for treatment of pathological pain conditions.

His team is currently engaged in research that studies the neurobiological mechanisms of pain and hyperalgesia after tissue or nerve injury.

Dr. Guan earned his M.D. from Capital Medical University in Beijing, China. Following that, he completed an M.S. in neurophysiology at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Maryland. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Guan joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006.

He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Pain Society (APS), the International Association for the Study of Pain and the North American Neuromodulation Society.

Dr. Guan serves on the editorial board of Analgesia & Resuscitation: Current Research. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, most recently Gold Medal award of the 13th, 14th and 15th ACCM Research Day at Johns Hopkins University.

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Titles

  • Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Education

Degrees

  • M.D., Capital University of Medical Sciences (China) (1995)
  • Ph.D., University of Maryland at Baltimore (Maryland) (2002)

Additional Training

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2005, Neuroscience and Pain

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The goal of Dr. Guan’s research is to fully understand and explain the peripheral, spinal and supraspinal mechanisms of chronic pain and develop better strategies and novel targets for treatment of pathological pain conditions. His multidisciplinary research uses electrophysiological, molecular biological, immunocytochemical and behavioral pharmacological approaches to study neurobiological mechanisms of pain and hyperalgesia after tissue or nerve injury.

He and his team have a number of ongoing research projects: 

  1. They are using complementary animal behavioral, electrophysiological, and molecular biological approaches to assess the therapeutic utility of using MrgprC agonist to treat neuropathic pain. They are also investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the drug action. This research is funded by the NIH.
  2. They are also exploring the mechanisms of mu-opioid receptor-mediated analgesia in neuropathic pain, with particular emphasis on roles of mu- and delta-opioid receptor interaction in peripheral morphine tolerance.
  3. They are examining the neurophysiologic and neurochemical mechanisms of spinal cord stimulation-induced analgesia and identifying the optimal stimulation parameters for its use in a model of chronic neuropathic pain.
  4. They are working to establish in vivo electrophysiologic recording and imaging techniques with which to examine the functions of distinct subgroups of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in acute pain and chronic neuropathic pain conditions. Subgroups of DRG neurons are identified by using novel markers in MrgA3-tdTomato, MrgD-GFP, Pirt2-eGFP, and Pirt-GCaMP3 mouse lines.
  5. They are studying pain after lumbar-spinal cord injury by establishing a novel animal model and exploring new treatment strategies.

Lab

Selected Publications

  1. Guan Y, Wacnik WP, Yang F, Carteret AF, Chung CY, Meyer RA, Raja SN. "Spinal cord stimulation-induced analgesia: Electrical stimulation of dorsal column and dorsal roots attenuates dorsal horn neuronal excitability in neuropathic rats." Anesthesiology 113(6):1392-405, 2010.
  2. Guan Y, Liu Q, Tang Z, Raja SN, Anderson DJ*, Dong X*. "The inhibitory effect of Mas-related G-protein-coupled receptors on pathological pain in mice." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(36):15933-15938, 2010.
  3. Seal RP, Wang X, Guan Y, Raja SN, Woodbury CJ, Basbaum AI, Edwards RH. "Unmyelinated low threshold mechanoreceptors are required for injury-induced mechanical hypersensitivity." Nature 462(7273):651-655, 2009.
  4. Guan Y, Johanek LM, Hartke TV, Shim B, Tao YX, Ringkamp M, Meyer RA, Raja SN. "Peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor agonist attenuates neuropathic pain in rats after L5 spinal nerve injury." Pain 138(2):319-329, 2008.
  5. Guan Y, Borzan J, Meyer RA, Raja SN. "Windup in dorsal horn neurons is modulated by endogenous spinal µ-opioid mechanisms." J Neurosci 26:4298-4307, 2006.

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Gold Medal award of The 15th ACCM Research Day, Johns Hopkins University, 2013
  • Gold Medal award of The 14th ACCM Research Day, Johns Hopkins University, 2012
  • Gold Medal award of The 13th ACCM Research Day, Johns Hopkins University, 2011
  • First prize winner of the poster session in Cell Biology, University of Maryland Graduate Research Conference, 2002
  • Second prize winner of the poster session in Pharmacology, University of Maryland Graduate Research Conference, 2001
  • Outstanding graduate student, Peking Union Medical College, 1997
  • Outstanding graduate student, Peking Union Medical College, 1996

Memberships

  • American Pain Society (APS), 2008
  • International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), 2010
  • North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS), 2012
  • Society for Neuroscience (SFN), 2000

Professional Activities

  • Editorial board, Analgesia & Resuscitation: Current Research, 2012
  • Peer review, Amino Acid, 2012
  • Peer review, Life Science, 2012
  • Peer review, Journal of Pain Research, 2012
  • Peer review, European Journal of Pain, 2012
  • Peer review, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 2012
  • Peer review, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 2012
  • Peer review, Journal of Neural Engineering, 2012
  • Peer review, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, 2012
  • Peer review, Journal of Neuroscience, 2011
  • Peer review, Neurochemistry International, 2011
  • Peer review, Molecular Pain, 2010
  • Peer review, Journal of Neuroscience Research, 2010
  • Peer review, Journal of Pain, 2010
  • Peer review, Journal of Neurochemistry, 2009
  • Peer review, Neuroscience, 2009
  • Peer review, Neuroscience¬†letters, 2008
  • Peer review, Pain, 2005
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