Catherine Cahill, M.Sc., Ph.D.

A Short Biography:

Catherine (Cathy) Cahill is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles where she leads basic and translation research on pain and opioid addiction. Dr. Cahill is a member of the scientific planning committee for the World Congress on Pain (International Association for the Study of Pain, IASP) and a former member of the executive council for the International Narcotic Research Conference society.  Dr. Cahill’s research is supported by the National Institutes of Drug abuse, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the Department of Defense and the Shirley and Stefan Hatos Foundation.


Work Titles
UCLA Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Member, Neuroscience GPB Home Area
Education:
Degrees:
Ph.D., Dalhousie University, 1992 - 1996
M.Sc., Dalhousie University, 1989 - 1992
Academic Experience:
2017 - University of California Los Angeles
2012 - University of California Irvine
2002 - Queen's University

Contact Information:

Email Address:

cmcahill@ucla.edu


Website:

Lab website

Work Phone Number:

3102060083

Work Address:

675 Charles E Young Drive South, Office 2760/lab 2609
Mail Code: 175919
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Research Interest:

Pain and Addiction

Dr. Cahill's research aims to understand the neurobiology of chronic pain and seeks novel ways to alleviate it.  She also studies how chronic pain changes the brain, especially in areas known to be important for emotion, fear and motivation. A further emphasis of her research is on opioid addiciton, especially identifying suceptibilities and changes in the brain that are associated with occurrence of chronic pain.

Chronic pain and co-morbidities

Chronic pain is a disease that encompasses both sensory and emotional elements. Opioids are highly effective analgesics because they target both of these elements, by inhibiting pain pathways and alleviating negative affect (including depression) by engaging reward or hedonic pathways.  Neuroinflammation is a common phenomenon associated with chronic pain and prolonged opioid use, which contributes to pain sensitization and negative affect (anxiety and depression).  Similarly, the kappa opioid system is responsible for dysphoric states and is upregulated in chronic pain states and with prolonged opioid use. Dr. Cahill's research aims to understand how neuroinflammation and kappa systems contribute to negative affective states with the goal of improving pain treatment outcomes and substance use disorders.  Her research uses behavioral neuroscience, imaging, anatomy and biochemistry to understand mechanisms of chronic pain and opioid misuse in chronic pain states.

Detailed Biography:

Catherine M. Cahill, Ph.D. trained as an opioid neuropharmaoclogist at Dalhousie University, Canada receiving her PhD in 1996. She was recruited to the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care at University of California Irvine in 2012 from Queen’s University in Canada where she held a Canada Research Chair in Chronic Pain for 10 years. She moved to UCLA in 2017 and is now a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and a member of the Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles.

She has more than 25 years experience in research that focuses on understanding mechanisms of chronic pain and opioid analgesia, tolerance, dependence and addiction. Her research spans both basic science and human research, which focuses on how chronic pain states modulate reward circuitry and changes dopaminergic transmission responsible for motivated behavior. A large emphasis of her research focuses on understanding the processes that influence the positive and negative reinforcement and changes in mesolimbic circuitry in order to identify novel treatment strategies for opioid dependence and chronic pain.

Dr. Cahill’s research is supported by the National Institutes of Drug abuse, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the Department of Defense and the Shirley and Stefan Hatos Foundation.

Publications:

View a up-to-date publication list: Google Scholar

A selected list of publications:

Hakimian Joshua K, Dong Tien S, Barahona Jorge A, Lagishetty Venu, Tiwari Suchi, Azani Darien, Barrera Matthew, Lee Suhjin, Severino Amie L, Mittal Nitish, Cahill Catherine M, Jacobs Jonathan P, Walwyn Wendy M   Dietary Supplementation with Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Reduces Opioid-Seeking Behaviors and Alters the Gut Microbiome Nutrients, 2019; 11(8): .
Liu Shiwei Steve, Pickens Sarah, Burma Nicole E, Ibarra-Lecue Ines, Yang Hongyan, Xue Lihua, Cook Chris, Hakimian Joshua K, Severino Amie L, Lueptow Lindsay, Komarek Kristina, Taylor Anna M W, Olmstead Mary C, Carroll F Ivy, Bass Caroline E, Andrews Anne M, Walwyn Wendy, Trang Tuan, Evans Christopher J, Leslie Frances M, Cahill Catherine M   Kappa Opioid Receptors Drive a Tonic Aversive Component of Chronic Pain The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2019; 39(21): 4162-4178.
Massaly Nicolas, Copits Bryan A, Wilson-Poe Adrianne R, Hipólito Lucia, Markovic Tamara, Yoon Hye Jean, Liu Shiwei, Walicki Marie C, Bhatti Dionnet L, Sirohi Sunil, Klaas Amanda, Walker Brendan M, Neve Rachael, Cahill Catherine M, Shoghi Kooresh I, Gereau Robert W, McCall Jordan G, Al-Hasani Ream, Bruchas Michael R, Morón Jose A   Pain-Induced Negative Affect Is Mediated via Recruitment of The Nucleus Accumbens Kappa Opioid System Neuron, 2019; 102(3): 564-573.e6.
Kibaly Cherkaouia, Xu Chi, Cahill Catherine M, Evans Christopher J, Law Ping-Yee   Non-nociceptive roles of opioids in the CNS: opioids' effects on neurogenesis, learning, memory and affect Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 2019; 20(1): 5-18.
Comer Sandra D, Cahill Catherine M   Fentanyl: Receptor pharmacology, abuse potential, and implications for treatment Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 2018; 20(1): 5-18.
Grenier Patrick, Wiercigroch David, Olmstead Mary C, Cahill Catherine M   Dissociation between morphine-induced spinal gliosis and analgesic tolerance by ultra-low-dose α2-adrenergic and cannabinoid CB1-receptor antagonists Behavioural pharmacology, 2018; 29(2 and 3-Spec Issue): 241-254.
Taylor Anna M W, Castonguay Annie, Taylor Alison J, Murphy Niall P, Ghogha Atefeh, Cook Christopher, Xue Lihua, Olmstead Mary C, De Koninck Yves, Evans Christopher J, Cahill Catherine M   Microglia disrupt mesolimbic reward circuitry in chronic pain The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2015; 35(22): 8442-50.
Evans Christopher J, Cahill Catherine M   Neurobiology of opioid dependence in creating addiction vulnerability F1000Research, 2016; 5: .
Trang Tuan, Al-Hasani Ream, Salvemini Daniela, Salter Michael W, Gutstein Howard, Cahill Catherine M   Pain and Poppies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Opioid Analgesics The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2015; 35(41): 13879-88.
Ferrini Francesco, Trang Tuan, Mattioli Theresa-Alexandra M, Laffray Sophie, Del'Guidice Thomas, Lorenzo Louis-Etienne, Castonguay Annie, Doyon Nicolas, Zhang Wenbo, Godin Antoine G, Mohr Daniela, Beggs Simon, Vandal Karen, Beaulieu Jean-Martin, Cahill Catherine M, Salter Michael W, De Koninck Yves   Morphine hyperalgesia gated through microglia-mediated disruption of neuronal Cl⁻ homeostasis Nature neuroscience, 2013; 16(2): 183-92.
Cahill Catherine M, Walwyn Wendy, Taylor Anna M W, Pradhan Amynah A A, Evans Christopher J   Allostatic Mechanisms of Opioid Tolerance Beyond Desensitization and Downregulation Trends in pharmacological sciences, 2016; 37(11): 963-976.
Taylor Anna M W, Castonguay Annie, Ghogha Atefeh, Vayssiere Pia, Pradhan Amynah A A, Xue Lihua, Mehrabani Sadaf, Wu Juli, Levitt Pat, Olmstead Mary C, De Koninck Yves, Evans Christopher J, Cahill Catherine M   Neuroimmune Regulation of GABAergic Neurons Within the Ventral Tegmental Area During Withdrawal from Chronic Morphine Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016; 41(4): 949-59.
Cahill Catherine M, Holdridge Sarah V, Liu Shiwei Steve, Xue Lihua, Magnussen Claire, Ong Edmund, Grenier Patrick, Sutherland Anne, Olmstead Mary C   Delta opioid receptor activation modulates affective pain and modality-specific pain hypersensitivity associated with chronic neuropathic pain Journal of neuroscience research, 2020; 27(9): 395-413.
Cahill Catherine M   Opioid dose regimen shapes mesolimbic adaptations Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2020; 45(11): 1777-1778.
Degrandmaison Jade, Abdallah Khaled, Blais Véronique, Génier Samuel, Lalumière Marie-Pier, Bergeron Francis, Cahill Catherine M, Boulter Jim, Lavoie Christine L, Parent Jean-Luc, Gendron Louis   In vivo mapping of a GPCR interactome using knockin mice Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2020; 117(23): 13105-13116.
Severino Amie L, Mittal Nitish, Hakimian Joshua K, Velarde Nathanial, Minasyan Ani, Albert Ralph, Torres Carlos, Romaneschi Nicole, Johnston Camille, Tiwari Suchi, Lee Alex S, Taylor Anna M, Gavériaux-Ruff Claire, Kieffer Brigitte L, Evans Christopher J, Cahill Catherine M, Walwyn Wendy M   Mu opioid receptors on distinct neuronal populations mediate different aspects of opioid reward-related behaviors eNeuro, 2020; 45(11): 1777-1778.
Huang Alden Y, Taylor Anna M W, Ghogha Atefeh, Pribadi Mochtar, Wang Qing, Kim Tanya S J, Cahill Catherine M, Coppola Giovanni, Evans Christopher J   Genetic and functional analysis of a Pacific hagfish opioid system Journal of neuroscience research, 2020; 45(11): 1777-1778.

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