This course is offered Spring semester, and is intended primarily for students majoring in Cell Biology & Neuroscience. It counts as an Advanced course towards the CBN major (R10) or a Life Science Elective (R11). Other students with background knowledge in neuroscience can also register for this course.

The opioid epidemic highlights how chronic pain may result in addiction to pain killers. Understanding the fundamental underpinnings of the debilitating sensations of pain and addictive behaviors provides potential therapeutic avenues for treatment and intervention. The course will focus on the molecular, cellular and neuroanatomical correlates of pain and addiction. The course consists of three modules. The first module will delve into how different ion channels sense temperature, mechanical stimulus, or pain. The second module will cover the neural circuitries that convey, integrate, and combine these percepts. Finally, students will learn the neuroanatomy and circuits that participate in addictive behavior.  Students must have a strong background in cell biology or neurobiology.