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Dr. Howard B. Gutstein

Dr. Howard B. Gutstein

Regular Member

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Departments of Anesthesiology and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

The primary focus of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of opioid tolerance and dependence and the interactions of pain and analgesic signaling. We employ a multidisciplinary approach to understand these problems using cutting-edge techniques. After demonstrating clinical and physiological relevance in animal behavioral studies, we dissect mechanisms underlying opioid tolerance, physical dependence, and pain. We also aim to translate our findings into clinical trials and ultimately, better treatment for cancer patients.

The overall goal of these projects is to develop more effective therapies for treating chronic pain without causing the devastating side effects of tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Trainees gain experience integrating molecular, genetic, neuroanatomic, biochemical, and behavioral techniques to explore important neurobiological questions from many perspectives. Close relations with clinical colleagues in the pain clinic provide opportunities to translate our basic findings into clinical practice and eventually see the direct application of our efforts.

A tutorial in our laboratory would introduce students to concepts in addiction, pain mechanisms and opioid pharmacology. Students would employ a wide range of integrative techniques to explore these important neurobiological questions from many perspectives. Experience can be gained with techniques such as in situ hybridization, biochemical and genetic methods, immunocytochemistry, cell culture and transfection, 2-D gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, image analysis, and behavioral studies on rats and mice.



MDACC Faculty

Program Affiliations:

Clinical and Translational Sciences

Genes and Development


Contact Information

Phone: 713.792.5037


Office: MDA Y6.5613 (Unit 110)

Title: Professor


M.D. - Johns Hopkins University - 1982