Luda Diatchenko

Diatchenko, Luda MD, PhD
luda.diatchenko [at]
Allan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain
740 Dr. Penfield Avenue
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 0G1
(514) 398-2878
(514) 398-8900

Lab Website:

Research Interests
Persistent pain is a part of many common human clinical conditions, yet the current ability to diagnose and manage these conditions is inadequate. Pain perception is one of the most complicated measurable traits, as it is composed of an aggregate of several other measurable phenotypes associated with peripheral and central nervous system dynamics, stress responsiveness, and inflammatory state. It is generally accepted that complex traits, like pain perception, result from the interplay between environmental exposures and multiple genetic variants. The Diatchenko lab investigates the psychological, molecular, cellular, and genetic pathways that mediate both acute and persistent pain states. The primary goal is to identify the critical elements of human genetic variability contributing to pain sensitivity and pathophysiological pain states that will enable individualized treatments and therapies. Other related research endeavors include molecular hierarchy of functional SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) and SNP-depend regulation of gene expression underlying molecular pain signaling. Answering these questions requires collaboration with experts in both clinical and basic biological sciences. Such collaborative activities allow the Diatchenko group to take basic genetic findings all the way from human association studies, through molecular and cellular mechanisms, to animal models, and ultimately to human clinical trials.

You can learn more about Dr. Diatchenko's research and lab by going to her lab website at:

Selected Publications
Diatchenko L, Fillingim RB, Smith SB, Maixner W. The Phenotypic and Genetic Signatures of Common Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions. Nature Rev Rheumatology. 2013 Jun;9(6):340-50

Slade GD, Smith S, Zaykin D, Tchivileva I, Gibson DG, Yuryev A, Mazo I, Bair E, Fillingim R, Ohrbach R, Maixner W, Diatchenko L. Facial pain with localized and widespread manifestations: separate pathways of vulnerability. Pain. 2013 Nov;154(11):2335-43

Smith S, Maixner D, Fillingim R, Slade G, Gracely R, Ambrose K, Zaykin D, Hyde C, John S, Tan K, Maixner W, Diatchenko L. Large candidate gene association study reveals genetic risk factors and therapeutic targets for fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheum . 2011 Sep 8

Tsao D, Shabalina SA, Gauthier J, Dokholyan NV, Diatchenko L. Disruptive mRNA folding increases translational efficiency of catechol-O-Methyltransferase variant. Nucleic Acids Res . 2011 39(14):6201-12

Shabalina SA, Zaykin DV, Gris P, Ogurtsov AY, Gauthier J, Shibata K, Tchivileva IE, Belfer I, Mishra B, Kiselycznyk C, Wallace MR, Staud R, Spiridonov NA, Max MB, Goldman D, Fillingim RB, Maixner W, Diatchenko L. Expansion of the human mu-opioid receptor gene architecture: novel functional variants. Hum Mol Genet . 2009 18(6):1037-51

Diatchenko L, Nackley AG, Tchivileva I, Shabalina SA, Maixner W. Genetic Architecture of Human Pain Perception: Clinical Implications. Trends Genet. 2007 23(12):605-13. Review

Nackley AG, Shabalina SA, Tchivileva IE, Satterfield K, Korchynskyi O, Makarov SS, Maixner W, Diatchenko L. Human catechol-O-methyltransferase haplotypes modulate protein expression by altering mRNA secondary structure. Science. 2006 Dec 22;314(5807):1930-3