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Jacqueline Sagen, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery

Research Interests

Jacqueline Sagen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Jacqueline Sagen, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Cell Transplant and Gene Therapies for Alleviation of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, such as that resulting from SCI or other injuries to the nervous system, is difficult to manage clinically and contributes to reduced quality of life and productivity. In addition, the presence of untreated pain can interfere with the ability to fully participate in rehabilitative strategies, thus limiting potential long-term gains in functional recovery. Pain due to injury to the nervous system is difficult to treat and pharmacological options for patients are marginally effective in the long term and fraught with unacceptable side effects. Our laboratory continues to explore novel and more effective strategies in the therapeutic management of chronic debilitating pain. Gene therapy, either via direct delivery to the nervous system or via cell transplantation, can provide a sustained and renewable source of pain-reducing agents and has the potential to target the underlying neuropathology. The overall goal of this research is to achieve improved and more permanent chronic pain alleviation by providing synergistic naturally-derived analgesic molecules to restore spinal inhibitory processes and reduce abnormal hyperexcitability using targeted gene therapies.

Our current research initiatives include: (1) identification of more effective analgesic targets and combinations for alleviating pain using rodent SCI and peripheral neuropathic pain models, (2) isolation and characterization of novel mammalian and non-mammalian peptides (e.g. conopeptides) that can be developed for cell-based delivery or gene therapies in long-term chronic pain management,   (3) utilization of neural stem cell transplantation to restore spinal cord pain modulatory neurocircuitry, and (4) design and assessment of more clinically relevant behavioral models for headache, SCI, and neuropathic pain with better predictive validity for clinical translation.


Jacqueline Sagen, Ph.D., M.B.A.

  • The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
    1095 NW 14th Terrace (R-48)
    Miami, FL 33136
  • (305) 243-5618
  • (305) 243-3921




American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair
American Pain Society
International Association for the Study of Pain
New York Academy of Sciences
Society for Neuroscience
International Committee Neural Transplantation and Repair


Name Title Phone Email
Stanislava Jergova, Ph.D. Senior Research Associate 305-243-6038
Elizabeth Dugan, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Associate 305-243-6038