UW-Green Bay Assistant Professor Todd Hillhouse (Psychology) from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, works with research students Paige Anderson and Peyton Koppenhaver to run a conditioned place preference test on their quest for a new psychopharmacological approach for pain relief. They are working inside the “PANE Lab” in the Lab Sciences building on the Green Bay Campus. Read more about Prof. Hillhouse and his path from academic uncertainty to published researcher and mentor.
Psychology Cutting-Edge Research in PANE Lab Transcript:
Our research in the PANE Lab is focused on creating new pain medications and finding new antidepressants. And we do this because there are current medications that are addictive, we want to find medications that aren’t addictive.
It means a great deal to publish our research in the National Academy of Sciences. The study that we published was a proof-of-concept study showing a novel way of treating pain. Now this will lend us into new projects where we can expand on these findings and develop new drugs that will be more efficacious when treating pain in the clinical population.
A really big, important piece of working in the PANE Lab, is just knowing that eventually down the line once we do unfold some of those hidden pieces about how drugs work in the brain, what they do, and what we can use them for, we can later apply those in drug counseling and clinical work.
We are able to use this information to help those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, pain management, other symptoms like that. Conducting research in the pain field, it really excites me. I’m excited to look at novel pain treatments because we might be able to help a population that currently isn’t being treated for their pain. We can also hopefully treat these people without pushing them toward addiction, which we see with the normal traditional opioid drugs.
Being in the PANE Research Lab makes me feel like I have a purpose and I’m able to contribute something to society even as an undergraduate student. I’m confident and optimistic that our research here can benefit and change the future of pain medications.
I really think that just being this involved so early on in my educational career really makes me proud that I chose UW-Green Bay and that I chose every day from that point on. I’m a first-generation student and so for me being able to have these opportunities is a really big deal.