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January 2014

Improving pain treatment

Vinícius Gadotti’s quest to understand how the human body deals with pain began more than ten years ago, when his aunt was diagnosed with a severe form of arthritis that left her in constant pain and confined to a wheelchair. A Mitacs Elevate fellow at the University of Calgary’s Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Vinícius is researching alongside Dr. Gerald Zamponi to help uncover these answers. In collaboration with Innovate Calgary, Vinícius is testing new drug compounds in animal models to see if they can prevent the occurrence of chronic pain. With one in five Canadians suffering from chronic nerve and inflammatory pain, his research will play an important role in providing a sufficient treatment option for patients.

Outside of the laboratory, Vinícius has been building his professional portfolio by attending workshops on networking, time management and communication, a critical component of the Mitacs Elevate program. The skills and confidence he’s acquired have been instrumental in helping him grow as a researcher. “The professional development workshops have provided me with the tools, guidance and knowledge I was lacking as a career student. In particular, they’ve helped me identify which skills I need to improve and strengthen.  I’ve been able to more effectively conduct my research in the lab because of them.”

Well into the first year of his Elevate fellowship, Vinícius is looking forward to continuing his research with Professor Zamponi, and to one day provide his aunt, and the millions of chronic pain sufferers, with a better quality of life.

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and Alberta Innovates for their support of the Elevate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Elevate program also receives support from the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities:

Find out more about current or upcoming funding opportunities with Mitacs Elevate.