Mahesh Pattabiraman gets $50k grant for non-opioid geriatric pain management

Name: Mahesh Pattabiraman
Title: Associate Professor of chemistry
College: Natural and Social Sciences
Education: Postdoctoral Fellow, Florida International University, 2009; Ph.D., organic chemistry, University of Miami, 2006; Master of Science, inorganic chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, 2001; Bachelor of Science, chemistry, University of Madras, 1999.
Years at UNK: Five
Area of research/specialization: Organic and inorganic supramolecular chemistry, photochemistry, host-guest chemistry, green chemistry, micelles, cavitands, binding interactions, toxic metal ion sensing and extraction.
Grant: 2017 Pilot Program Grant, Great Plains IDeA-Clinical Translational Research Network at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
About the grant: The goal of the program, administered through a National Institutes of Health / National Institute of General Medical Sciences grant, is to develop successful clinical and translational research investigators. Selected scientists and health professionals are provided partial salary support and up to $50,000 to assist preliminary research efforts for one to two years. Pattabiraman is one of nine faculty members awarded funding. The additional awardees were chosen from UNMC, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of South Dakota.
Amount of award: $50,000, with potential of $100,000 over two years.
Project: “Incarvillateine Analogs as Non-opioid Alternative for Geriatric Pain Management” addresses the issue of opioids, which are especially known for their side effects such as dependency, abdominal discomfort, neurological dysfunction and drug-tolerance in patients. These side effects affect elderly patients more severely than general patients, which has necessitated research for effective alternative pain treatment strategies with minimal adverse actions.
Incarvillateine (INCA), derived from the Chinese herb Incarvillea sinensis, has been widely used in traditional medicine for treating rheumatism and pain. Dr. Pattabiraman hypothesizes that INCA analogs will exhibit unique binding to opioid and adenosine receptors, and that compounds favoring the adenosine receptors should present the best analgesic efficacy with minimal side effects. The broad goal of this project is to provide a targeted low-cost approach towards synthesis of novel antinociceptives with potent action, high efficacy and minimal after effects.