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Student Profiles:
chris

Chris Starr, MD, PhD



Matriculated: 2004

Graduate Program: Neurobiology and Anatomy

Education:

B.S. in Biology with Departmental Honors , Summa Cum Laude, 2004, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Anatomy, 2009, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Residency plans:

- Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, preliminary internal medicine, July 2011.
- University of California San Francisco, radiology residency, July 2012.

Research:
Neural Mechanisms Supporting Cognitive Influences on Supraspinal Nociceptive Processing: Insights from Brain Lesions

The focus of my research is on brain mechanisms that support cognitive influences on pain processing. In particular, I am interested in developing a better understanding of the roles of the insula and the basal ganglia in pain processing. Working with patients with lesions in these brain areas, I utilized sensory testing and multiple neuroimaging modalities to characterize their pain and pain-related brain activations. Techniques employed include fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which allowed us to assess structural and functional connectivity through probabilistic tractography and brain network correlation analyses. In addition, I also examined psychological and cognitive influences on pain and how these factors can be used to construct a model to predict experimental heat pain. Given the large number of patients suffering from various chronic pain conditions, a better understanding of how pain information is processed can potentially improve the quality of care provided to patients in pain.

Advisor: Dr. Robert C. Coghill

Presentations:
Starr C.J, Sawaki L., Wittenberg G.F., Burdette J.H., Oshiro Y., Quevedo A.S., Coghill R.C. (2008) Effects of basal ganglia lesions on pain and pain-related brain activations. Abstract 2008. International Association for the Study of Pain annual meeting 2008. Glasgow, Scotland. Presented.

Starr C.J., Sawaki L., Wittenberg G.F., Burdette J.H., Oshiro Y., Quevedo A.S., Coghill R.C. (2007) Integrity of pain perception after lesions of the insular cortex. Abstract 2007. Organization for Human Brain Mapping annual meeting 2007. Chicago, Illinois. Presented.

Starr C.J., Houle T.T., Coghill R.C. (2007) Multifactorial predictors of experimental thermal pain. Abstract 2007. American Pain Society annual meeting 2007. Washington, D.C. Presented.

Starr C.J., Joyce B.M., Glaser P.E.A., Gerhardt G.A. (2004) In vivo microdialysis studies of adderall vs. d- and d,l- amphetamine-evoke dopamine overflow in the rat striatum. Abstract 2004. Biology Honors Student Research Day 2004. Lexington, Kentucky. Presented

Publications:
Peer Reviewed Articles:

Starr CJ, Sawaki L, Wittenberg GF, Burdette JH, Oshiro Y, Quevedo AS, McHaffie JG, Coghill RC. The Contribution of the Putamen to Sensory Aspects of Pain: Insights from Structural Connectivity and Brain Lesions. Brain. 2011 Jul;134(Pt 7):1987-2004. PMID: 21616963.

Starr CJ, Houle TT, Coghill RC. Psychological and Sensory Predictors of Experimental Thermal Pain: A Multifactorial Model. Journal of Pain. 2010 Dec; 11(12):1394-402. PMID: 20570569.

Starr CJ, Sawaki L, Wittenberg GF, Burdette JH, Oshiro Y, Quevedo AS, Coghill RC. Roles of the insular cortex in the modulation of pain: insights from brain lesions. Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 Mar; 29(9): 2684-2694. PMID: 19261863.

Starr CJ, Wallin JL, Smith B, Sullivan CA. Pathology Case: Low-grade Nasopharyngeal Papillary Adenocarcinoma. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Publication Status: Submitted.


Peer Reviewed Abstracts:

Starr CJ, Houle TT, Coghill RC. Multifactorial predictors of experimental thermal pain [Abstract]. Journal of Pain. 2007 Apr; 8(4, Supplement 1): S18.

Starr CJ, Sawaki L, Wittenberg GF, Burdette JH, Oshiro Y, Quevedo AS, Coghill RC. Integrity of pain perception after lesions of the insular cortex [Abstract]. Neuroimage. 2007 Jun; 36(Supplement 1): S87.

Starr CJ, Sawaki L, Wittenberg GF, Burdette JH, Oshiro Y, Quevedo AS, Coghill RC. Effects of basal ganglia lesions on pain and pain-related brain activations [Abstract]. Abstracts of the 12th World Congress on Pain. 2008 Aug; on CD(-): PH 118.


Dissertation:

Starr CJ. (2009, March 12). Neural Mechanisms Supporting Cognitive Influences on Supraspinal Nociceptive Processing: Insights from Brain Lesions. Doctoral Dissertation.


Honors and Awards:
University of Kentucky Academic Excellence Merit Scholarship

Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship

1st prize winner of the American Chemical Society (ACS) of University of Kentucky Chemistry Competition

Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky Scholarship

Dean's List, University of Kentucky 2001-2004

Summa Cum Laude, University of Kentucky

Honors in Biology, University of Kentucky

Wake Forest University School of Medicine MD/PhD fellowship

American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award

Travel Award to attend the International Association for the Study of Pain in Glasgow, Scotland

Scholarship to attend "HOW TO COMBINE CLINICAL AND RESEARCH CAREERS IN NEUROSCIENCE" in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Association of University Professors of Neurology, American Neurological Association, and National Institute of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke

Professional Society Memberships:
Radiological Society of North America
American Pain Society
Organization for Human Brain Mapping
International Association for the Study of Pain
Society for Neuroscience

Interests & Hobbies:
Traveling
Learning foreign languages
Cooking
Music
Photography

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