Thiago Mattar Cunha

Life Sciences

Thiago Cunha, a pharmacist with a lifelong passion for volleyball, once competed officially in the sport. However, his focus has now shifted to scientific research. Despite having to give up volleyball, his dedication to his work has been recognized with the Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award for Basic Science from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Thiago completed his master’s and doctorate in pharmacology at the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School. During his postdoctoral studies at the same institution, he also spent time as a visiting professor at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Immunology.

As a scientist specializing in pain and inflammation, Thiago’s research could significantly influence pharmacological treatments. Like a true exile of Minas Gerais, he is a loyal supporter of the Galo, soccer team. Thiago cherishes the time he spends with his wife and three children, engaging in outdoor activities.


Exploring the Impact of Cellular Metabolism on the Development of Neuropathic Pain: The potential role of succinate/GPR91 signaling
Science / Life Sciences

Peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP) is a form of chronic pain that is challenging to treat. It arises from a neuronal lesion that triggers intricate molecular and biochemical changes in the nociceptive system. Cellular metabolites, which are products or substrates of cellular activity, play crucial roles in various functions. An imbalance in cellular metabolism is implicated in the pathophysiology of numerous diseases.

We hypothesize that peripheral neuropathy induces a metabolic disturbance in the components of the nociceptive system. Among the cellular metabolites, succinate—a Krebs cycle metabolite—and its receptor, GPR91, have been associated with the progression of certain pathologies. Our preliminary data suggest that succinate exhibits pro-nociceptive effects, and mice deficient in GPR91 appear to be resistant to the development of Diabetic Neuropathic Pain (DNP).

This project aims to investigate the relationship between succinate and GPR91 in the development of DNP. The findings are expected to offer critical insights into the deregulation of cellular energy and its implications in chronic pain, potentially contributing to the creation of more effective analgesics.

Amount invested

R$ 114,681.40

Open Calls

Science Call 1
  • Topics
  • Cellular metablolism
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Pathologies
  • Signaling