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NYU Bluestone Center's Yi Ye Awarded a 2015 Early Career Research Grant from the International Association for the Study of Pain

October 7, 2015

Dr. Ye Selected as a NYU Langone 2015 KL2 Scholar

The KL2 Scholar Program focuses on helping individuals achieve translational research independence through specific coursework, a research project, monthly cohort meetings and mentoring. The selected scholars will receive partial salary support for up to two years, in addition to, support for research, educational courses, training-related expenses, and travel to scientific meetings.

The selection was made on September 22, 2015, by the Program Committee led by Drs. F. Xavier Castellanos and Deb Chyun.

The scholars for 2015 are:

  • Benjamin Han, MD, MPH (Medicine/Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care);
  • Sean Heffron, MD, MSc (Medicine/Cardiology); and
  • Yi Ye, PhD, MS (College of Dentistry).

Program Expectations (.pdf)

Early Career Research Grant

Yi Ye, MS, PhD, associate director, Clinical Research Operations at NYU’s Bluestone Center for Clinical Research at the NYU College of Dentistry (NYUCD) and assistant professor in NYUCD’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, was selected as one of six winners of the International Association for the Study of Pain’s (IASP) 2015 Early Career Research Grant Award by the IASP Fellowships, Grants, and Awards Working Group.  The IASP received 57 applications from 22 countries for the 2015 program.

Dr. Ye’s project is "Resolvin D2 as a novel therapy for head and neck cancer progression and pain."

“Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have a poor survival rate and often experience significant pain,” says Dr. Ye. “Cancer pain and progression might result from shared pathways that involve chronic inflammation and/or TRP channels; drugs that inhibit inflammation and/or TRP channels might diminish both tumor progression and pain. Resolvin D2 (RvD2), a newly discovered mediator derived from endogenous omega-3 fatty-acid, exhibits potent anti-inflammatory actions and an inhibitory effect on TRPV1/A1.”

Dr. Ye’s research seeks to evaluate whether RvD2 is analgesic and/or anti-proliferative in HNSCC models. She will inhibit TRPV1/A1 expressed on cancer and on primary afferent neurons with RvD2 and measure nociceptive behaviors and tumor size in HNSCC mice. The role of RvD2 and TRPV1/A1 on cell proliferation will be determined with a real-time cell analyzer (RTCA). Expression levels of TRPV1/A1 on cancer and neurons will be determined using immunofluorescence staining, western blot, and RT-PCR. The effect of RvD2 on TRPV1/A1 function in neurons will be measured using calcium imaging and whole-cell patch clamping.

“These studies will provide insight into the mechanisms underlying HNSCC progression and pain and reveal the therapeutic potential of RvD2,” says Dr. Ye.

Earlier this year, Dr. Ye was selected as a Pain Scholar by the Rita Allen Foundation for the proposal, "The role of Schwann cells in neural invasion and associated cancer pain."  She was recognized at the American Pain Society's Annual Meeting in May 2015.

Dr. Ye holds a PhD in neuroscience, a Master’s degree in clinical research, and is expecting her MBA from NYU Stern in 2016. She is a certified principal investigator (CPI) through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). Her research aims to understand the neurobiological basis of cancer pain, with additional focus on carcinogenesis and tumor progression. She is interested in both preclinical and clinical drug development in cancer pain treatment.