The Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences (CBLS) at Missouri State University is committed to the development and support of advanced biotechnology industries, utilizing knowledge gained in our research to improve human health.

Areas of Interest

Neurological disease pathology and treatment
Bioactivity of natural products
Drug discovery
Pathological microbiology
Chemical testing and analysis


Our focus lies in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neuron-glia interactions that promote and sustain chronic peripheral and central sensitization. A primary goal of our research is to determine the signaling pathways by which inflammatory and anti-inflammatory agents control neuropeptide gene expression in disorders involving the trigeminal nerve.

Currently, we are studying the regulation of the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide gene (CGRP) expression in cultured and trigeminal neurons, neuronal-like cell lines, preclinical in vivo models, and clinical studies.

Another major focus of our research has been to elucidate the cellular/molecular mechanisms mediated by anti-migraine drugs and inflammatory stimuli that activate MAP kinase pathways in neurons and glial cells within the trigeminal ganglion and spinal trigeminal nucleus.

In addition, we have begun to study the cellular and molecular effects of nutraceutical compounds on neuronal-glial cell interactions within the ganglion and spinal trigeminal nucleus in preclinical models of migraine and TMD.

More recently, we have also begun to use next-generation sequencing to study changes in the bacteria residing in the digestive system in response to prolonged inflammatory conditions (acute to chronic pain), alterations in diet, and exposure to heavy metal nanoparticles.