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Despite the growing number of biological targets for the treatment of pain implicated in pre-clinical studies, few of these targets have translated into effective strategies to relieve pain. Amongst the myriad potential reasons for this alarmingly high failure rate is that preclinical animal models used to discover pain targets and validate novel therapies are not sufficiently similar to people. For this reason, a number of labs are incorporating the use of human tissue from organ donors to validate therapeutic targets. In this webinar, members of Dr. Michael Gold’s lab (University of Pittsburgh) will discuss how using human dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons is critical for the successful development of pain therapeutics. Dr. Jamie Moy will present first by giving a brief overview of similarities and differences found between rodent and human DRG neurons. Next, she will discuss ways/approaches to maximizing the use of human tissue, including neurons, to generate model systems on which to perform hypothesis -generating and -testing research directed at pain treatments. Dr. Jane Hartung will continue the conversation by presenting her work characterizing voltage-gated calcium channels in human DRG neurons and their regulation by a variety of factors including age, Gi-protein inhibition, and temperature. Moy and Hartung’s findings highlight important similarities and differences between species that speak to potential therapeutic failures if not new avenues for success. With consent from the next of kin, tissue from organ donors in research provide a valuable resource to ensure a successful translation of therapies for pain patients.