Hello everyone, my name is Maya Dannawi. I am a first-year Ph.D. student at ULB.
Currently, my project centers on understanding the mechanisms by which Prdm12 (an epigenetic regulator gene recently shown to be involved in a rare disease that leads to a complete loss of pain perception, congenital insensitivity to pain) regulates the development of nociceptors (pain-sensing neurons) during embryogenesis.
Our goal is to identify potential direct targets of Prdm12 and the upstream regulators governing its expression in early nociceptor development.
Pain, by its aversive nature, is a vital mechanism that protects our bodies from dangerous stimuli. It is the number one reason to seek medical attention as defined by NIH this year, and a public health and economic burden. Nevertheless, there is an alarming limitation of current treatment modalities. Thus, Prdm12, the center of my project, represents a putative pain targeting tool that needs to be further studied and elucidated.