Professional Summary

  • Although infants and children experience considerable pain as the result of injury, disease, surgery or intensive care therapy, pediatric pain remains undertreated and poorly understood. Efforts to design new, evidence-based treatments for chronic pediatric pain have been hampered by a lack of information regarding how neonatal pain circuits in the CNS respond to tissue damage at a cellular and molecular level. My lab is currently characterizing the short- and long-term consequences of tissue injury during early life for the function of developing synaptic networks in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord, which serves as an important relay station in the pain pathway. Experimental approaches include in vitro electrophysiology in the rodent spinal cord, optogenetics, chemogenetics, immunohistochemistry, tract tracing, and behavioral measurements of pain sensitivity.  By identifying age-specific changes in synaptic organization within central pain networks under pathological conditions, this work will yield new insight into the neurobiological basis for pediatric pain, and may also help explain why neonatal tissue damage appears capable of altering nociceptive processing throughout life.

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree: Duke University, 1994
  • Master's Degree: Yale University, 1997
  • Doctoral Degree: Yale University, 2001

Research/Clinical Interests

  • Although infants and children experience considerable pain as the result of injury, disease, surgery or intensive care therapy, pediatric pain remains undertreated and poorly understood. Efforts to design new, evidence-based treatments for chronic pediatric pain have been hampered by a lack of information regarding how neonatal pain circuits in the CNS respond to tissue damage at a cellular and molecular level. My lab is currently characterizing the short- and long-term consequences of tissue injury during early life for the function of developing synaptic networks in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord, which serves as an important relay station in the pain pathway. Experimental approaches include in vitro electrophysiology in the rodent spinal cord, optogenetics, chemogenetics, immunohistochemistry, tract tracing, and behavioral measurements of pain sensitivity.  By identifying age-specific changes in synaptic organization within central pain networks under pathological conditions, this work will yield new insight into the neurobiological basis for pediatric pain, and may also help explain why neonatal tissue damage appears capable of altering nociceptive processing throughout life.  See more at: http://www.research.uc.edu/expertprofile.aspx?epersonID=bacceiml&search=bacceisthash.xlwnusbY.dpuf

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Research Grants
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  • R03 NS06085805/01/2009-04/30/2011. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Modulation of Developing Spinal Nociceptive Circuits by Sensory Input, PI, Closed.
  • R01 NS07220209/01/2010-08/31/2015. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Developmental Regulation of Intrinsic Excitability in Spinal Pain Networks, PI, Active.
  • R01NS08088909/21/2013-06/30/2018. National Institutes of Health. Synaptic function within mature central pain networks after neonatal injury , PI, Awarded.
  • 135801 \ R21HD08091009/10/2015-08/31/2016. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The role of Na+, K+ ATPase function in Creatine Transporter Deficiency, PI, Active.
  • R01NS07220206/15/2016-05/31/2021. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Developmental Regulation of Intrinsic Excitability in Spinal Pain Networks, PI, Active.
  • 138566 / 1R01NS100772-0104/01/2017-03/31/2018. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. A novel combinatorial approach to restore motor function after spinal cord injury, PI, Awarded.
  • 138566 / 1R01NS100772-0104/01/2017-03/31/2018. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. A novel combinatorial approach to restore motor function after spinal cord injury, PI, Awarded.
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Peer Reviewed Publications (in chronological order)
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  • Li, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2017). Functional Organization of Cutaneous and Muscle Afferent Synapses onto Immature Spinal Lamina I Projection Neurons.. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society For Neuroscience, 37 (6), 1505-1517. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3164-16.2016
  • Romer, S. H., Seedle, K., Turner, S. M., Li, J., Baccei, M. L., & Crone, S. A. (2017). Accessory respiratory muscles enhance ventilation in ALS model mice and are activated by excitatory V2a neurons.. Experimental Neurology, 287 (Pt 2), 192-204. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2016.05.033
  • Li, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2016). Neonatal Tissue Damage Promotes Spike Timing-Dependent Synaptic Long-Term Potentiation in Adult Spinal Projection Neurons.. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society For Neuroscience, 36 (19), 5405-16. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3547-15.2016
  • McKlveen, J. M., Morano, R. L., Fitzgerald, M., Zoubovsky, S., Cassella, S. N., Scheimann, J. R., Ghosal, S., Mahbod, P., Packard, B. A., Myers, B., Baccei, M. L., & Herman, J. P. (2016). Chronic Stress Increases Prefrontal Inhibition: A Mechanism for Stress-Induced Prefrontal Dysfunction.. Biological Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2016.03.2101
  • Vollmer, L. L., Schmeltzer, S., Schurdak, J., Ahlbrand, R., Rush, J., Dolgas, C. M., Baccei, M. L., & Sah, R. (2016). Neuropeptide Y Impairs Retrieval of Extinguished Fear and Modulates Excitability of Neurons in the Infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex.. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society For Neuroscience, 36 (4), 1306-15. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4955-13.2016
  • Walker, S. M., Beggs, S., & Baccei, M. L. (2016). Persistent changes in peripheral and spinal nociceptive processing after early tissue injury.. Experimental Neurology, 275 Pt 2, 253-60. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.06.020
  • Ford, N. C., & Baccei, M. L. (2016). Inward-rectifying K(+) (Kir2) leak conductance dampens the excitability of lamina I projection neurons in the neonatal rat.. Neuroscience, 339, 502-510. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.10.027
  • Baccei, Mark L (2016). Rewiring of Developing Spinal Nociceptive Circuits by Neonatal Injury and Its Implications for Pediatric Chronic Pain.. Children (Basel, Switzerland), 3 (3). doi:10.3390/children3030016
  • Li, J., Kritzer, E., Ford, N. C., Arbabi, S., & Baccei, M. L. (2015). Connectivity of pacemaker neurons in the neonatal rat superficial dorsal horn.. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 523 (7), 1038-53. doi:10.1002/cne.23706
  • Li, J., Kritzer, E., Craig, P. E., & Baccei, M. L. (2015). Aberrant synaptic integration in adult lamina I projection neurons following neonatal tissue damage.. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society For Neuroscience, 35 (6), 2438-51. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3585-14.2015
  • Baccei, Mark L (2014). Pacemaker Neurons and the Development of Nociception.. The Neuroscientist : A Review Journal Bringing Neurobiology, Neurology and Psychiatry. doi:10.1177/1073858414521499
  • Li, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2014). Neonatal tissue injury reduces the intrinsic excitability of adult mouse superficial dorsal horn neurons.. Neuroscience, 256, 392-402. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.10.057
  • Li, J., Blankenship, M. L., & Baccei, M. L. (2013). Deficits in glycinergic inhibition within adult spinal nociceptive circuits after neonatal tissue damage.. Pain, 154 (7), 1129-39. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2013.03.030
  • Li, J., Blankenship, M. L., & Baccei, M. L. (2013). Inward-rectifying potassium (Kir) channels regulate pacemaker activity in spinal nociceptive circuits during early life.. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society For Neuroscience, 33 (8), 3352-62. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4365-12.2013
  • Blankenship, M. L., Coyle, D. E., & Baccei, M. L. (2013). Transcriptional expression of voltage-gated Na? and voltage-independent K? channels in the developing rat superficial dorsal horn.. Neuroscience, 231, 305-14. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.11.053
  • Li, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2012). Developmental regulation of membrane excitability in rat spinal lamina I projection neurons.. Journal of Neurophysiology, 107 (10), 2604-14. doi:10.1152/jn.00899.2011
  • Li, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2011). Neonatal tissue damage facilitates nociceptive synaptic input to the developing superficial dorsal horn via NGF-dependent mechanisms.. Pain, 152 (8), 1846-55. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2011.04.001
  • Li, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2011). Pacemaker neurons within newborn spinal pain circuits.. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society For Neuroscience, 31 (24), 9010-22. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6555-10.2011
  • Baccei, Mark L (2010). Modulation of developing dorsal horn synapses by tissue injury.. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1198, 159-67. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05425.x
  • Li, J., Walker, S. M., Fitzgerald, M., & Baccei, M. L. (2009). Activity-dependent modulation of glutamatergic signaling in the developing rat dorsal horn by early tissue injury.. Journal of Neurophysiology, 102 (4), 2208-19. doi:10.1152/jn.00520.2009
  • Li, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2009). Excitatory synapses in the rat superficial dorsal horn are strengthened following peripheral inflammation during early postnatal development.. Pain, 143 (1-2), 56-64. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2009.01.023
  • Li, J., Xie, W., Zhang, J., & Baccei, M. L. (2009). Peripheral nerve injury sensitizes neonatal dorsal horn neurons to tumor necrosis factor-alpha.. Molecular Pain, 5, 10. doi:10.1186/1744-8069-5-10
  • Ingram, R. A., Fitzgerald, M., & Baccei, M. L. (2008). Developmental changes in the fidelity and short-term plasticity of GABAergic synapses in the neonatal rat dorsal horn.. Journal of Neurophysiology, 99 (6), 3144-50. doi:10.1152/jn.01342.2007
  • Baccei, Mark L (2007). Development of pain: maturation of spinal inhibitory networks.. International Anesthesiology Clinics, 45 (2), 1-11. doi:10.1097/AIA.0b013e3180341961
  • Baccei, M. L., & Fitzgerald, M. (2005). Intrinsic firing properties of developing rat superficial dorsal horn neurons.. Neuroreport, 16 (12), 1325-8.
  • Baccei, M. L., & Fitzgerald, M. (2004). Development of GABAergic and glycinergic transmission in the neonatal rat dorsal horn.. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society For Neuroscience, 24 (20), 4749-57. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5211-03.2004
  • Baccei, M. L., Bardoni, R., & Fitzgerald, M. (2003). Development of nociceptive synaptic inputs to the neonatal rat dorsal horn: glutamate release by capsaicin and menthol.. The Journal of Physiology, 549 (Pt 1), 231-42. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2003.040451
  • Baccei, M. L., & Kocsis, J. D. (2000). Voltage-gated calcium currents in axotomized adult rat cutaneous afferent neurons.. Journal of Neurophysiology, 83 (4), 2227-38.
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Animal Protocols
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  • Principal Investigator
    Maturation of nociceptive circuits in the neonatal dorsal horn06-05-31-02
    Approved     Exp. Date: 06/14/2020
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