Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine - Pain and Neurosciences Research
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Research Overview

Critical Care Research

Pain and Neurosciences Research

Biomedical Innovation

Ethics and Health Policy

Clinical Research

Grant Funding

 
 

Mallinckrodt Pharmacology Research Unit

Summary Science Features

The mission of the Mallinckrodt Pharmacology Research Unit is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which general anesthetics act. Although some 25 million general anesthetics are given each year in the U.S. alone, the underlying mechanisms by which general anesthetics act are still poorly understood, but these agents are used at high concentrations and exhibit many unwanted side effects. The overall working hypothesis adopted by the Unit's researchers is that the depression in neuronal excitability leading to general anesthesia results from the capacity of anesthetics to enhance the actions of inhibitory channels and to inhibit the action of excitatory channels. The major focus is on the Cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel superfamily that contains the inhibitory channels gated by GABA and glycine and the excitatory channels gated by acetylcholine and serotonin. Other channels whose role in anesthesia is under study include the excitatory channels gated by glutamate and the inhibitory tandem pore potassium channels.



 
Office Information

Department of Anesthesia,
Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Gray-Bigelow 444
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

617-726-3030

Public Transportation Access: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes