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Alex Keyes

Address: 2-440 BSBPhoto of Amelia (Alex) Keyes
Phone: (319) 353-3887
Email: al-keyes@uiowa.edu

Mentor: Yuriy M. Usachev, PhD

Undergraduate Institution: Linfield College

Graduate Program: Pharmacology

Year Entered Into Program: 2017

Research Description

Determining the role of neuro-immune interaction within the spinal cord in pain sensitization

The underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain are not well defined, and a potential mechanism is central sensitization in the spinal cord. I will use neuron- and microglia- specific GCaMP mouse lines and two-photon microscopy in a novel intact spinal cord preparation to examine how the complement system and microglia regulate synaptic Ca2+ signaling, nociceptive synaptic transmission and central sensitization after nerve injury. I will also test the role of this neuro-immune interaction in the development of neuropathic pain.   


  • Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Retreat Poster Award, 2018
  • Fellowship appointment on the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (NIH T32 GM067795), University of Iowa, 2018-2020


  1. Keyes AL, Kim YC, Bosch PJ, Usachev YM, Aldridge GM. Stay or go? Neuronal activity in medial frontal cortex during a voluntary tactile preference task in head-fixed mice. Cell Calcium. 2021 Mar 4;96:102388. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2021.102388. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33740531