Jeffrey Mogil

Academic title(s): 

Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Pain (Tier I) and E. P. Taylor Chair in Pain Studies

Jeffrey Mogil
Contact Information
Email address: 
jeffrey.mogil [at]

Psychology, Mcgill University
1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue

Fax number: 
Department of Psychology
Research areas: 
Basic Science
Areas of interest: 

Research Interests

Pain is a complex, subjective experience that displays considerable variability compared to other sensory modalities. In some instances and in some people, intensely noxious stimuli are not reported as causing pain, whereas others can experience excruciating pain from light touching the skin. Some people are highly sensitive to pain relief from placebo administration, while others are insensitive to even high doses of morphine. Following nerve injury, only a small proportion of people go on to develop chronic, neuropathic pain. Research is focused on uncovering and explaining sources of variability in these phenomena. We use a multidisciplinary approach ranging from the molecular level (gene mapping/positional cloning, gene expression assays) to the systems level (immunohistochemistry, pharmacology) to the behavioral level (characterization of inbred mouse strains and transgenic knock-out mice). Although most of our work is performed in the mouse, we have inspired and helped to design studies in humans as well. Of particular interest is the identification of sex-specific genes underlying pain sensitivity and analgesic sensitivity in mice. We have recently shown that in humans as in mice the two sexes possess qualitatively different neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of pain; ongoing work in the lab is devoted to the characterization of the male- and female-specific neural circuitry. In more recent work, we are examining the surprisingly robust effects of social communication on pain sensitivity, and the effect of pain on social behaviour in mice. Finally, we are currently developing and characterizing novel mouse models of clinical pain, and novel ways of measuring pain in animals (e.g., facial expression).

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