Thomas Jeff Martin
My wife Ronda and I live in nearby Walkertown on 6 acres of
land with our two dogs, Jack and Dinah, and 3 Nubian dairy goats, Charlie,
Clarice, and Lily. We have 3 adult sons Conner, Salem, and Leo. In addition to
spending time with my family, I enjoy playing around on the land with my 1961
Ford 861 Powermaster tractor and rooting for the UNC Tar Heels.
I earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1984 and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from
Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia in 1989 under the
mentorship of Dr. Billy R. Martin. I then moved to Wake Forest School of
Medicine in 1989 to join the laboratory of Dr. James E. Smith in the Department
of Physiology and Pharmacology as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2006 I joined the
Department of Anesthesiology and the Pain Mechanisms Laboratory, in which I now
hold the rank of Professor.
lab. My lab currently consists of myself and Susy A. Kim, Tracy
J. Strassburg, Becca McMullan, Conner W. Martin, and Salem J. Martin. We
actively collaborate with all other members of the Pain Mechanisms Lab as well
as several faculty in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology,
Neurobiology and Anatomy, and Cancer Biology. We are focused on the
neurobiology of pain and addiction mechanisms, particularly as they relate to
neuropathic pain and opioids. We are well versed in intravenous drug
self-administration, intracranial self-stimulation, food reinforced operant
behaviors, and a number of classical behavioral pain assays. Pain models that
we incorporate into our experiments include peripheral nerve ligation, incision
models, and acute noxious heat, mechanical or chemical stimulation.
The list on ongoing projects in the lab include:
effects of acute and chronic pain. We are interested in how acute and
chronic pain alters cognition, particularly attention and impulsivity. For this
we rely on a variant of the classical five choice serial reaction time task, in
which the duration of the cue stimulus is titrated in real time according to
the performance ability of the subject. We have demonstrated that acute
abdominal inflammatory pain disrupts this task, which is reversed by opioids
and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. We are currently examining mechanism
by which peripheral nerve injury disrupts this behavior. These studies are funded
by the National Institute on General Medical Sciences through P01-GM113852.
cognitive effects induced by cocaine self-administration. We
are also exploring the ability of continued intermittent cocaine self-administration to disrupt attention and impulse
control using the titration variant of the five choice serial reaction time
task as well as a delay discounting task. This project involves assessment of
disruptive effects of cocaine self-administration under intermittent access
conditions and exploring pharmacological classes of drugs that may be useful in
mitigating these effects. This project is supported by the National Institute
of Drug Abuse through P50-DA006634.
role of oxytocin in recovery from post-surgical pain and the transition of
acute to chronic pain. We are interested in how oxytocin may
provide a protective effect against the transition from acute to chronic pain,
and have an active collaboration with Dr. James Eisenach in this project. Dr.
Eisenach’s group has found that oxytocin release in the spinal cord is
associated with recovery from peripheral nerve ligation, and that allodynia is
absent in post-partum female rats after nerve injury at a time when oxytocin
levels are elevated. Further, recovery from nerve injury in males also appears
to be related to increase oxytocin expression and release in the spinal cord.
We are also exploring the role that social bonding in prairie voles may have in
mitigating the effects of nerve injury and the role of oxytocin in these
effects. These projects are supported by the National Institute of
Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stroke through R21-NS085533 and by the National
Institute on General Medical Sciences through R37-GM48085.
effects of acute and chronic pain. A long standing interest of our
laboratory is to develop and validate novel methods by which to assess and
understand how pain alters physiology in laboratory animals, and ways to assess
the behavioral effects of this altered physiology. We have used drug
self-administration, intracranial self-stimulation, and a variety of
food-reinforced operant-based models to study the effects of acute and chronic
pain manipulations on rodent behavior and the resulting pharmacology. We have
recently developed in collaboration with Drs. Dani Boada and Doug Ririe an
engineered surface that translates altered electrical responses of primary
sensory afferents to mechanical stimulation into behavior. This is a continued
area of interest that is funded by various sources.