Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Prof. Antonio Ferrer-Montiel
  • Email:

Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche

Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular. Universidad Miguel Hernández
  • Address: Av de la Universidad s/n. 03202 Elche
  • Province: Alicante

Research Area

  • Life Sciences (LIF)

Brief description of the institution:

Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (UMH)
Organization profile
UMH was established in 1996 and began its academic activities in the 1997/98 academic year, being one of the newest public universities in Spain. UMH has 4 campuses (Elche, where the central administration is placed, Sant Joan d'Alacant, Orihuela, and Altea) and 75 buildings whose total surface area covers 947,635 m2. Its constructed surface area is 209,876 m2. There are 16,000 full‐time students and 24,500 alumni since the university's creation. The UMH budget for 2015 is 90,820,442 €. The UMH has 9 faculties (Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, School of Engineering of Elche, School of Engineering of Orihuela, Faculty of Social and Legal Sciences of Elche, Faculty of Social and Legal Sciences of Orihuela, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Faculty of Medicine). Regarding academics, UMH offers 25 bachelor's, 44 master's, and 16 PhD programs. The UMH has also several Research Centres, including the Instituto de Neurociencias (recognized as “Severo Ochoa” Center of Excellence), Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular, Instituto de Bioingeniería and Centro de Investigación Operativa. The total number of employees at the UMH is about 1,600. UMH personnel are distributed into 2 areas: faculty (1,018), of which 536 are full‐time, 482 part‐time, and 650 of these are Ph.D.s; and staff (577), with 372 administration and services personnel, along with 205 technicians and people contracted through research projects.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

The Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular (IBMC) is a research center at the Universitas Miguel Hernández whose mission is to perform translational research in the fields of biotechnology and biomedicine. The IBMC is a multidisciplinary research center where researchers of different and complementary disciplines work synergistically to address societal challenges to unveil the underlying molecular pathophysiology to develop and validate new biomarkers and therapeutics. The IBMC has currently 10 independent research groups involving biochemists, chemists, biophysicists, molecular oncologists and biotechnologists. Our group is particularly focused on unveiling the molecular and cellular mechanisms implicated in chronic pain, with the aim of developing novel therapeutics that contribute to reduce its symptomatology. Our research project is mainly centered in the role of thermoTRP channels in pain transduction and to discover novel modulators of these sensory ion channels that can be developed as novel analgesics. Currently, we have 1 compound in Phase II clinical trials for post-surgical pain and one in pre-clinical safety development for arthritic pain. The group is also the inventor of more than 20 patents and has also co-founded 2 spin-off and 2 start-up companies.

Project description:

Pain is one of the most disturbing and disabling symptoms of a plethora of human diseases such as cancer, HIV, injuries, diabetes, chemotherapy, etc. If unresolved upon the causing pathology has disappeared, pain becomes a chronic disease. Currently, chronic pain affects 20% of the population. Thus, there is an urgent need to understand pain transduction at a molecular and cellular level to identify targets for therapeutic intervention. Although referred to as single word, pain exhibits a highly diverse pathophysiology, being caused by distinct molecular mechanisms and thus needing tailor-made therapeutic interventions. In addition, there is female prevalence of chronic pain conditions that is poorly understood. For instance, migraine shows a 3:1 woman:male prevalence that it is suspected to be driven by sex hormones, although research addressing gender/sex prevalence is yet limited. We have developed a model of chronic migraine in mice that allow us to investigate the contribution of sensory neuron function to gender prevalence and underpin the underlying modulation of sex hormones of nociceptor excitability and sensitization by pro-algesic compounds that trigger a migraine crisis. Our main focus is on understanding the role of thermosensory ion channels in the inflammatory sensitization of trigeminal nociceptors and investigating their putative differential modulation by sex hormones in males and females. We use a combination of genetic models, pharmacological tools and electrophysiological strategies. We aim to identify and validate signaling pathways that underlie the pathophysiology of chronic migraine, its higher prevalence in women, and to develop therapies that take into consideration gender differences


  1. Letter of interest
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Two letters of reference

Deadline: June 30th, 2018

I want to contact the Institution

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