Zachary T. Campbell, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology


Website: Lab Website

Zachary Campbell

Research Description

Pain is pervasive and devastating. Poorly treated chronic pain is the largest source of disability in America with an estimated economic cost of more than 500 billion dollars per year. Moreover, existing strategies to disrupt pain (e.g. opiates) have well known and highly undesirable effects on reward circuits in the CNS. Better strategies for preventing chronic pain are desperately needed. In the vast majority of cases, pain originates in the periphery in a specialized type of sensory neuron called a nociceptor. Long-lived changes in their excitability – which are intimately liked to chronic pain – require de novo protein synthesis. Multiple groups have shown that peripheral inhibition of protein synthesis diminishes pain associated behaviors in pre-clinical rodent models. This suggests that translation, likely in nerve fibers, is critical for nociceptive plasticity. But what are the mRNAs that need to be locally translated and what governs the specificity of protein synthesis in nociceptors? To address these key questions, we make use of functional genomics, pharmacology, physiology, and genetic approaches.

Honors & Awards

2019 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) – Early career award, RNA localization and local translation
2018 Outstanding Teaching Award (Tenure Track) – UT Dallas, Natural Sciences & Math
2008 The Herb E. Carter Memorial Scholar Award
2015 Education fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2014 Paul D. Boyer Award for outstanding post-doctoral research
09/11-09/13 NIH NRSA F32 Post-doctoral fellowship
09/08-06/09 NSF IGERT fellowship in genomics

Selected Publications

Smith PR, Loerch S, Kunder N, Stanowick AD, Lou TF, Campbell ZT. Functionally distinct roles for eEF2K in the control of ribosome availability and p-body abundance. Nature Communications. 2021. 12(1). 1-16 PMID: 34815424

Iglesias P, Lou TF, Bhat V, Megat S, Burton M, Price T, Campbell ZT. Inhibition of Poly(A)- Binding Protein with an RNA mimic reduces pain sensitization in mice. Nature Communications 2018. 9(1):10. PMID: 29295980

de la Peña JB, Barragan-Iglesias P, Lou TF, Loerch S, Kunder N, Shukla T, Song J, Megat S,  Moy JK, Wanghzou A, Ray PR, Hoyt K, Steward O, Price TJ, Shepherd J, Campbell ZT. Intercellular Arc signaling regulates vasodilation. J Neuroscience. 2021. 15;41(37):7712-7726. PMID: 34326146

de la Peña JB, Kunder N, Lou TZ, Chase R, Stanowick S, Barragan-Iglesias P, Pancrazio JJ, Campbell ZT. A role for translational regulation by S6 kinase and a downstream target in inflammatory pain. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2021. In press PMID:34355805

Megat S, Ray PR, Moy JK, Lou TZ, Barragan-Iglesias P, Li Y, Pradhan G, Wanghzou Z, Ahmad A, Burton MD, North RY, Dougherty PM, Khoutorsky A, Sonenberg N, Webster KR, Dussor G, Cambpell ZT, Price TJ. Nociceptor translational profiling reveals the Ragulator-Rag GTPase complex as a critical generator of neuropathic pain. J Neuroscience 2018. 20:2661-18.PMC6335757

Zhou Q, Kunder N, De la Paz JA, Lasley AE, Morcos F, and Campbell ZT. Global pairwise RNA interaction landscapes reveal core features of protein recognition. Nature Communications2018. 9(1):2511. PMC6023938