University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine - Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program
Dr. Carattino's lab is focused on studying the function of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). These channels are expressed in the nervous system where they contribute to sensory processes such as mechanosensation and nociception. The goals of our research program are to elucidate the molecular basis underlying the function of ASICs and to identify targets in these proteins that can be used to develop inhibitors. A second area of research in our lab examines the role of the urothelial barrier in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), a chronic voiding disorder with symptoms that include urinary frequency and pain in the bladder and/or pelvis. Although the exact cause of IC/BPS is unknown, numerous lines of evidence suggest that an increase in the permeability of the urothelium contributes to the symptoms in this condition. The goal of this project is to examine the mechanisms that mediate voiding symptoms and pain in an animal model with reduced urothelial barrier function, providing a rational foundation to treat hypersensitive bladder disorders.