Nccih Logo

The COVID-19 outbreak is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

View public health information from CDC
View research information from NIH

Division of Intramural Research

Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits

DIR_Chesler

Alexander (Alex) Chesler, Ph.D. heads the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. This lab is interested in the neurons and circuits of the somatosensory system and the changes that they undergo during injury and inflammation. Currently, research in the lab is focused on discovering new molecules involved in the transduction of somatosensory stimuli and studying the regions of the brain that encode innocuous versus painful stimuli. Our work centers on a class of sensory neurons (called C fibers) that encode thermal, noxious, and mechanical stimuli. To investigate these questions, we are using a variety of methods in the lab to study transgenic mice that include physiology, two-photon imaging, optogenetics, and behavior.

Lab Chief

Chesler_Headshot

Dr. Chesler received his degrees from Bard College (B.A., 1995) and Columbia University (Ph.D., 2005). His graduate study, in the laboratory of Dr. Stuart Firestein, was focused on the function and development of olfactory sensory neurons. He did his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. David Julius at the University of California, San Francisco, where he combined physiological, anatomical, and behavioral approaches to study the pharmacology of somatosensory neurons. He joined the NIH intramural pain program (NCCIH) in 2013, where his laboratory now employs multidisciplinary approaches to study how sensory stimuli (such temperature, touch, and environmental irritants) are detected and encoded by the somatosensory system.

Lab Members

Maria Anaya, Postbac IRTA

Maria Anaya is a postbac IRTA in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. She can be reached at maria.anaya@nih.gov or (301)594-3296.

Arnab Barik, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Arnab Barik, Ph.D., is a postdoc fellow in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. He can be reached at arnabbarik.barik@nih.gov or (301) 451.2026.

Marek Brodzki, Special Volunteer

Marek Brodzki is a special volunteer in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. He can be reached at marek.brodzki@nih.gov or (301) 435-5517.

Nima Ghitani, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Nima Ghitani, Ph.D., is a postdoc fellow in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. He can be reached at nima.ghitani@nih.gov or (301) 443-7388.

Ruby Lam, Graduate Student

Ruby Lam is a graduate student in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. She can be reached at ruby.lam@nih.gov or (301) 594-3296.

Maximilian Nagel, Ph.D., Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

Max Nagel, Ph.D., is a visiting postdoc fellow in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. He can be reached at max.nagel@nih.gov or (301) 435.5517.

Alec Nickolls, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Alec Nickolls, Ph.D., is a postdoc fellow in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. He can be reached at alec.nickolis@nih.gov or (301) 594.5191.

Marcin Szczot, Ph.D., Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

Marcin Szczot, Ph.D., is a visiting postdoc fellow in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. He can be reached at marcin.szczot@nih.gov or (301) 496.8129.

James Thompson, Lab Manager

James Thompson is a lab manager in the Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits. He can be reached at james.thompson@nih.gov or (301) 451.0930.