William D. Willis, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. Memorial Lecture: An Interview with Gary Lewin

Pain Research Forum, 1 June 2021

In this interview, we chat with Gary Lewin, PhD, winner of the inaugural William D. Willis Jr., MD, PhD, Memorial Lecture award. Lewin is a professor and group leader at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin, Germany. Lewin has had a long-standing interest in the development, plasticity, and function of the somatosensory system. With Lorne Mendell he discovered a role for nerve growth factor (NGF) in chronic inflammatory pain, which has inspired development of humanized antibodies directed against NGF, drugs that may soon reach clinical application. His group pioneered the study of touch transduction and discovered the first mammalian proteins necessary for normal touch sensation. In the last 10 years his group has continued to elucidate the role of novel proteins in touch and pain transduction. In addition, for more than 15 years his group tried to take advantage of the extreme physiology of African naked mole-rats to discover molecular tricks to resist hypoxia, remain healthy in old age, and suppress pain. Read more.