Research Fellows Directory
Robson da Costa
Dr Robson da Costa
King's College London
The somatosensory system is essential for human life because it allows individuals to experience distinct sensations such as touch, vibration, temperature, pruritus and pain. It also plays a protective function against harmful agents, which trigger sensations that lead to defensive behaviours; for example, pain and pruritus lead to withdrawal and scratching reflexes, respectively.
When associated with chronic disorders, these sensations may lose their protective function and become symptoms that severally impair the patient’s quality of life. Thus, the use of pharmacological interventions is a vital component of the clinical management of these disorders. There is therefore a need for new knowledge of pain and pruritus mechanisms in order to open avenues to better treatments.
My studies have been focusing on sensory systems involved in pain and itch, and I have been studying the pharmacological mechanisms involved in acute and chronic models of pain and itch in rodents. My research also covers the search for new and safe compounds with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
In my current research project I will identify novel mechanisms of sensory transduction in chronic pain conditions and I will focus particularly in how transient receptor potential M3 (TRPM3) is involved in the maintenance of hypersensitivities in chronic pain models. The knowledge that TRPM3 is required for the maintenance of chronic pain conditions will provide the evidence to support further studies to discover and develop TRPM3 inhibitors as analgesic drugs.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)