Gary J. Bennett, Ph.D.

Lab description

We study the pathophysiology of the neuropathic pain syndromes that occur when peripheral nerves are damaged by trauma, disease, or toxins and explore potential new analgesics for their treatment. We have a particular interest in the painful peripheral neuropathy that is the dose-limiting side-effect of many cancer chemotherapeutics. We employ various methodologies, including behavioral pharmacology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, electrophysiology, and mitochondrial function assays (respirometry and ATP production).

Fig. Legend:
The CCI (chronic constriction injury) model of post-traumatic painful peripheral neuropathy. Surgical field showing the rat’s sciatic nerve at mid-thigh level with the first of four loosely constrictive ligatures tied around it.




Bennett, GJ, Liu GK, Xiao WH, Jin HW, Siau C. Terminal arbor degeneration (TAD): a novel lesion produced by the chemotherapeutic agent, paclitaxel. Eur J Neurosci 2011; 33: 1667-1676.

Zheng H, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ. Functional deficits in peripheral nerve mitochondria in rats with paclitaxel- and oxaliplatin-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy. Exptl Neurol 2011; 232: 154-161.

Xiao WH, Zheng H, Bennett GJ. Characterization of oxaliplatin-induced chronic painful peripheral neuropathy in the rat and comparison with the neuropathy induced by paclitaxel.. Neuroscience 2012; 203: 194-206.

Zheng, H, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ. Mitotoxicity and bortezomib-induced chronic painful peripheral neuropathy. Exptl Neurol 2012; 238: 225-234.

Bennett GJ, Doyle T, Salvemini D. Mitotoxicity in distal symmetrical sensory peripheral neuropathies. Nature Rev Neurol, 2014; in press.


Gary J. Bennett, Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, and Professor and Canada Senior Research Chair in the Department of Anesthesia, at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. He has served on the American Pain Society’s Board of Directors and on the Editorial Board for Pain (1986-1999; 2009-present), the journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, and currently serves on the Editorial Board for Pain Medicine, the journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association of America, where he was Director of Research, and received their Scientific Achievement Award in 2000. He was awarded the American Pain Society’s Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award in 1996, and the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Founder’s Award in 2001. For the past 30 years, his research has focused on the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain syndromes and on the preclinical development of new analgesics. For the past decade his research has focused on the painful peripheral neuropathies caused by chemotherapeutic drugs.