Facts & Findings

Even though TRPV1 has long been recognized as a key pain receptor, the endogenous substances responsible for its activation are not well understood.  The Neuropharmacology Research Group has discovered that oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid (OLAMs), a common fatty acid found in cell membranes, represent a new class of endogenous substances that activate TRPV1.


are released after inflammatory and noxious heat insults. These findings identify the OLAMs as a new molecular target for the development of an entirely new class of medications to treat pain.

The role

of oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid as a pain target are currently being studied after burn injury with funding from the National Institutes of Health.    


Our research is on the verge of a significant breakthrough. As a scientist, I can think of nothing more important than helping these patients.


Ken Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Dr. Ken Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Additional Information

Armen Akopian, Ph.D.

Armen Akopian, Ph.D.

Research interests include Neuroendocrinology and Neuroimmunology contributions to pain and inflammatory conditions.

Dr. Armen Akopian's profile

Nikita Ruparel, MS, DDS, Ph.D.

Nikita Ruparel, MS, DDS, Ph.D.

Research interests include inflammatory pain.

Dr. Nikita Ruparel's profile

Shivani Ruparel, Ph.D.

Shivani Ruparel, Ph.D.

Research interests include cancer pain mechanisms and the role of OLAMs in pain conditions.

Dr. Shivani Ruparel's profile