Nigel Calcutt

Professor, Pathology, UC San Diego

My research is focused on mechanisms of peripheral nerve disease and the identification of new therapeutic approaches to prevent onset of neuropathy or alleviate symptoms of an existing neuropathy such as sensory loss or pain. Most students and Fellows in my laboratory work on cellular and animal models of diabetic neuropathy although we also have projects looking at the toxic neuropathies that are side effects of certain cancer drugs and at models of HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy. We have adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to addressing the etiology of diabetic neuropathy and apply a diverse array of techniques that range from molecular and biochemical investigations of fundamental disease mechanisms to physiologic and behavioral assessments of nerve function and the efficacy of potential therapeutic strategies. We also collaborate with a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, so that the etiologic mechanisms that we propose can be tested by rational drug design and in vivo pharmacology and ultimately by clinical trials. Students wishing to work in my laboratory must want to appreciate the full spectrum of a disease process and be flexible enough to answer research questions by application of a range of experimental techniques.