Alexander Chesler, Ph.D.

Stadtman Investigator

Sensory Cells and Circuits Section

NCCIH

Building 35, Room 1E-450
35 Convent Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

301-594-1049

alexander.chesler@nih.gov

Research Topics

The 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.

Biography

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.

Selected Publications

  1. Le Pichon CE, Chesler AT. The functional and anatomical dissection of somatosensory subpopulations using mouse genetics. Front Neuroanat. 2014;8:21.

  2. Bohlen CJ, Chesler AT, Sharif-Naeini R, Medzihradszky KF, Zhou S, King D, Sánchez EE, Burlingame AL, Basbaum AI, Julius D. A heteromeric Texas coral snake toxin targets acid-sensing ion channels to produce pain. Nature. 2011;479(7373):410-4.

  3. Chesler AT, Szczot M, Bharucha-Goebel D, Čeko M, Donkervoort S, Laubacher C, Hayes LH, Alter K, Zampieri C, Stanley C, Innes AM, Mah JK, Grosmann CM, Bradley N, Nguyen D, Foley AR, Le Pichon CE, Bönnemann CG. The Role of PIEZO2 in Human Mechanosensation. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(14):1355-1364.

  4. Cavanaugh DJ, Chesler AT, Jackson AC, Sigal YM, Yamanaka H, Grant R, O'Donnell D, Nicoll RA, Shah NM, Julius D, Basbaum AI. Trpv1 reporter mice reveal highly restricted brain distribution and functional expression in arteriolar smooth muscle cells. J Neurosci. 2011;31(13):5067-77.

  5. Ghitani N, Barik A, Szczot M, Thompson JH, Li C, Le Pichon CE, Krashes MJ, Chesler AT. Specialized Mechanosensory Nociceptors Mediating Rapid Responses to Hair Pull. Neuron. 2017;95(4):944-954.e4.

Related Scientific Focus Areas


This page was last updated on August 18th, 2017