Tony L. Yaksh, PhD

Dr. Tony Yaksh receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Neuromodulation Society



In December 2015 Dr. Yaksh received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Neuromodulation Society. This is a great honor for Tony, who has now written more than 780 scientific papers; cited more than 45,000 times in the medical literature. He has served as mentor for over 100 post-doctoral researchers. 

The presentation cited Yaksh's ground breaking studies of opiate action in spinal cord  which  rapidly led to the widespread use of epidural and intrathecal analgesics in humans to manage acute and chronic pain states.  His subsequent studies provided a basis for understanding the pharmacology of the spinal gating of pain information. He is an expert on issues related to spinal drug kinetics and the evaluation of the safety of spinally delivered agents.  His laboratory has been preeminent in studying the safety of spinal agents and mechanisms of their toxicity,  a unique academic endeavor that has established essential criteria for spinal drug development.

Dr. Yaksh  has been funded consistently by the NIH since 1977 and twice has been a Jacob Javitz award recipient.  He has received numerous honors and awards, including the FWL Kerr Memorial Award from the American Pain Society, the Seldon Memorial Lecturer award from the International Anesthesia Research Society, the American Society of Anesthesiologists award for Excellence in research, the Torsten Gordh lecturer award from the Swedish Society of Medicine, and the Bonica Award from the International Association for the Study of Pain. 

Dr. Yaksh joined UCSD in 1988 as Professor and Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Anesthesiology and Professor of Pharmacology.  He became a Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine in 2004. His laboratory at the Medical center  in Hillcrest continues its active  research in pain and in the development of analgesic drugs.