Jeffrey S. Mogil


Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Pain Tier I
E. P. Taylor Chair in Pain Studies

Stewart Biological Sciences Bldg.
Room N7/42, 398-6085
jeff at

Research Areas

Behavioral Neuroscience

Research Summary

Prof. Mogil is interested in nervous system mechanisms mediating the perception and inhibition of pain. Pain is a complex, subjective experience that displays considerable variability compared to other sensory modalities. In some instances and in some people, intensely noxious stimuli are not reported as causing pain, whereas others can experience excruciating pain from light touching of the skin. Some people are highly sensitive to pain relief from placebo administration, while others are insensitive to even high doses of morphine. Research is focused on uncovering and explaining sources of variability in these phenomena. We use a multidisciplinary approach ranging from molecular gene mapping to the development of new behavioural models. Recent experiments have uncovered surprising and intriguing social effects on pain behaviours in mice, and much current work in the laboratory is aimed at understanding these.

Selected References

Langford, D.J., Bailey, A.L., Chanda, M.L., Clarke, S.E., Drummond, T.E., Echols, S., Glick, S., Ingrao, J., Klassen-Ross, T., LaCroix-Fralish, M.L., Matsumiya, L., Sorge, R.E., Sotocinal, S.G., Tabaka, J.M., Wong, D., van den Maagdenberg, A.M.J.M., Ferrari, M.D., Craig, K.D., and Mogil, J.S.  Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse.  Nature Methods, in press.

LaCroix-Fralish, M.L. and Mogil, J.S.  Progress in genetic studies of pain and analgesia.  Annual Review of Pharmacology, 49:97-121, 2009.

Mogil, J.S.  Animal models of pain: progress and challenges.  Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10:283-294, 2009.

Smith, S.B., Marker, C.L., Perry, C., Liao, G., Sotocinal, S.G., Austin, J.-S., Melmed, K., Clark, D.J., Peltz, G., Wickman, K., and Mogil, J.S.  Quantitative trait locus and computational mapping identifies Kcnj9 (GIRK3) as a candidate gene affecting analgesia from multiple drug classes.  Pharmacogenet. Genom., 18:231242, 2008.

Langford, D.J., Crager, S.E., Shehzad, Z., Smith, S.B., Sotocinal, S.G., Levenstadt, J.S., Chanda, M.L., Levitin, D.J., and Mogil, J.S.  Social modulation of pain as evidence for empathy in mice.  Science, 312:1967-1970, 2006.

Updated: September 1, 2010
Back to Graduate Program