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Pain researcher awarded NSERC prize


Montreal, QC – McGill researcher Dr Jeffrey Coull, whose exploration of the mechanisms that cause chronic neuropathic pain has helped enormously in the search for new analgesic drugs, has been awarded Canada’s top prize for doctoral research in science and engineering from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

Dr Coull, who completed his PhD work at McGill’s department of pharmacology and therapeutics in 2004, is one of four researchers in science and engineering to receive the 2006 NSERC Doctoral Prize. The prize includes a $10,000 award.

Among his other accomplishments, Dr Coull discovered that a cell called microglia secretes a chemical that causes neurons that would normally filter sensory information to the brain to become amplifiers of pain.

In 2004, Dr Coull founded Chlorion Pharma, a biotechnology and drug-discovery company based in Quebec City, and is using his findings to work toward developing new drugs to treat these diseases.