Im lab @ Haverford


Ouch! What was that? Oops, you got a paper cut while studying hard for your finals. Paper cuts hurt a lot, but wait… How do I sense this? What genes and What type of cells are involved in this process? 

It’s the next day and it still hurts. The spot is a little red and swollen, too. It is going to last a couple days.  Now it hurts when something presses on the spot, which did not cause such a discomfort before. How come? What is causing this? 

Nociception detects noxious stimuli as simple as a paper cut. While the wound heals, the sensitivity heightens but it is only temporary hypersensitivity, which is called nociceptive sensitization. On the other hand, chronic pain is a huge problem – many individuals suffer from chronic pain, not able to lead a normal life.

The Im lab aims to understand the underlying genetic and molecular mechanisms of nociception – acute and chronic pain – using fruit flies as our model organism. 


Congratulations, Harika and Arielle! They published their thesis work in the Im Lab. If you are interested, please read their article published in microPublication Biology!

Drosophila pain sensory neuron – cell body and dendritic arbor imaged on a confocal microscope (third image) and then artistic modification on photoshop (rest of images).

Useful Links

Haverford Biology Hub