Academic Faculty

Bradley Kerr, Assistant Chair, Office of Research

Associate Professor (UAH)

Medicine & Dentistry

Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Research Interests

The development of chronic pain after spinal cord injury or in diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) is a major clinical concern. The main focus of research in my laboratory is aimed at addressing the cellular mechanisms that generate neuropathic pain in these conditions. My research uses two primary animal models: a clinically relevant spinal contusion injury model and a mouse model of autoimmune demyelination that resembles MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). My research aims to understand the specific pathways and cellular changes that arise in response to direct trauma or in chronic disease states that may promote the development of neuropathic pain. The lab employs a number of different strategies that include analysis at the cell and molecular levels, as well as systems level approaches to address this complex biological problem.

Funding Sources

  • The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

  • National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation

  • University Hospital Fund Lab Staff


Lab Members

Ana Catuneanu - MSc Student
Emma Frieser - MSc Student
Kevin Thorburn - PhD Student
Saad Yousuf - PhD Student
Katherine Mifflin - PhD Student
Gustavo Tenrorio - Research Assistant/Lab Manager

Recent Publications

  1. Potter, L.E., Paylor, J.W., Suh, J.S., Tenorio, G., Caliaperumal, J., Colburn, F., Baker, G., Winship, I. and Kerr, B.J. (2016) Altered excitatory-inhibitory balance within somatosensory cortex is associated with enhanced plasticity and pain sensitivity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroinflammation 13(1):142

  2. Mifflin, K.A and Kerr, B.J (2016) Pain in autoimmune disorders. Journal of Neuroscience Research. In Focus Issue on Pain. In Press [Epub ahead of print]

  3. Mifflin, K.A, Benson, C.,Thorburn, K.C, Baker GB, Kerr BJ. (2016). Manipulation of Neurotransmitter Levels Has Differential Effects on Formalin-Evoked Nociceptive Behavior in Male and Female Mice. Journal of Pain. Apr;17(4):483-98

  4. Yousuf M.S and Kerr, B.J. (2016). The role of regulatory transporters in neuropathic pain. Advances in Pharmacology-Pharmacological Mechanisms and the Modulation of Pain. 75:245-71

  5. Thorburn, K.C., Paylor, J.W, Webber, C.A, Winship, I.R. and Kerr, B.J. (2016). Facial hypersensitivity and trigeminal pathology in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Pain 157 (3): 627-642

  6. Mifflin, K.A., Benson, C., Kerr, B.J., Aricioglu, F., Cetin, M., Dursun, S. and Baker, G.B. (2015). Involvement of Neuroactive Steroids in Pain, Depression and Anxiety. Modern Trends in Pharmacopsychiatry: Pain in Psychiatric Disorders 30: 94-102 (Finn, D.P and Leaonard, B. eds). (Invited Review)

  7. Benson, C., Mifflin, K.A., Kerr, B.J., Jesudasan, S.J.B., Dursun, S. and Baker, G.B. (2015) Biogenic amines and the amino acids GABA and glutamate: relationships with pain and depression. Modern Trends in Pharmacopsychiatry: Pain in Psychiatric Disorders 30: 67-79 (Finn, D.P and Leaonard, B. eds) (Invited Review)

  8. Kerr, B.J., Benson, C., Mifflin, K.A Jesudasan, S., Dursan, S. and Baker, G.B. (2015). Treatment of pain with antidepressants. Bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 25 (3)209-212 (Guest Editorial)

  9. Haile, Y., Simmen, K.C., Olechowski, C., Kerr, B.J., Bleackley, R.C. and Giuliani, F. (2015). Granzyme-B inhibitor Serpina3n Induces Neuroprotection in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 12 (157): 1-10

  10. Benson, C., Paylor, J.W., Tenorio, G., Winship, I., Baker, G.B. and Kerr, B.J. (2015) Voluntary wheel running delays disease onset and reduces pain hypersensitivity in early experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Experimental Neurology 29: 279-290

  11. Boakye PA, Olechowski C, Rashiq S, Verrier MJ, Kerr B, Witmans M, Baker G, Joyce A, Dick BD. A Critical Review of Neurobiological Factors Involved in the Interactions between Chronic Pain, Depression, and Sleep Disruption. (2015) Clinical Journal of Pain. May 28 [Epub ahead of print]

  12. Mifflin, K.A. and Kerr B.J. (2014). The transition from acute to chronic pain: understanding how different biological systems interact. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia 61(2):112-122

  13. Iannitti T, Kerr B.J, Taylor B.K. (2014). Mechanisms and pharmacology of neuropathic pain in Multiple Sclerosis. Current Topics Behavioural Neuroscience. [Epub ahead of print]

  14. Benson, C and Kerr, B.J. (2014). Pain and cognition in Multiple Sclerosis. Current Topics Behavioural Neuroscience. [Epub ahead of print]

  15. Benson, C., Wong, G., Tenorio, G., Baker, G.B. and Kerr, B.J. (2013). The MAO inhibitor phenelzine can improve functional outcomes in mice with established clinical signs in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Behavioural Brain Research 252 (1):302-311.

  16. Mifflin, K.A., & Kerr, B.J. (2013). Sex Related Differences in Acute and Chronic Pain: A Bench to Bedside Perspective. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. 60(3):221-226.

  17. Olechoswski, C.J., Tenorio, G., Sauve, Y. and Kerr, B.J. (2013) Changes in pain sensitivity and object recognition in experimental autoimmune encephalomyletis (EAE). Experimental Neurology 241:113-121.

  18. Lieu, A., Tenorio, G. and Kerr, B.J. (2013) Protein kinase C gamma (PKCg) as a novel marker to assess the functional status of the corticospinal tract in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Journal of Neuroimmunology 256(1-2):43-8.

  19. Tenorio, G., Kulkarni, A. and Kerr, B.J. (2012). Resident glial cell activation in response to peri-spinal inflammation leads to acute changes in nociceptive sensitivity: Implications for the generation of neuropathic pain. Pain 154(1):71-81.

  20. Musgrave, T., Benson, C.A., Wong, G., Browne, I., Tenorio, G., Rauw, G., Baker, G.B. and Kerr, B.J. (2011) The MAO inhibitor phenelzine improves functional outcomes in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 25(8):1677-1688.

  21. Nadeau, S., Filali, M., Zhang, J., Kerr, B.J., Rivest, S., Soulet, D., Iwkura, Y., Vaccari de Rivero, J.P., Keane, R.W. and Lacroix, S. (2011). Functional Recovery after Peripheral Nerve Injury is Dependent on the Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines IL-1b and TNF: Implications for Neuropathic Pain. Journal of Neuroscience 31(35): 12533-12542.

  22. López-Vales, R., Ghasemlou, N., Redensek, A., Kerr, B.J., Barbayianni, E., Antonopoulou, G., Baskakis, C., Rathore, K.I., Constantinou-Kokotou, V., Stephens, D., Shimizu, T., Dennis, E.A., Kokotos, G. and David, S. (2011). Phospholipase A2 superfamily members play divergent roles after spinal cord injury. FASEB 25(12):4240-4252.

  23. Musgrave, T., Tenorio, G., Rauw, G., Baker, G., and Kerr, B.J. (2011). Tissue concentration changes of amino acids in the central nervous system of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyletis (EAE). Neurochemistry International 59 (1): 28-38.