Frank Porreca, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology and Anesthesiology

Life Sciences North 562
P.O. Box 245050
Tucson AZ 85724-5050

(520) 626-7421
Email Address:
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, 1982 (Ph.D., Pharmacology)
Honors & Awards: 
  • Distinguished Professor, Mayo Clinic 2004
  • Founder’s Day Speaker, University of Arizona, 2001
  • F.W. Kerr Award, American Pain Society, 2000
  • 9th Covino Lecturer, Harvard University, 2000
  • Sterling Professor of Pharmacology, Albany Medical School, 2000
Major Areas of Research Interest: 
  • Neurobiology of Pathological Pain States
  • Cancer pain
  • Bone biology
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Neurobiology of Opioids
  • Opioid-induced paradoxical pain
Selected Publications: 

Vera-Portocarrero LP, Yie JX, Kowal J, Ossipov MH, King T, Porreca F. Descending facilitation from the rostral ventromedial medulla maintains visceral pain in rats with experimental pancreatitis. Gastroenterology. 130(7):2155-64, 2006.

Agnes RS, Lee YS, Davis P, Ma SW, Badghisi H, Porreca F, Lai J, Hruby VJ. Structure-activity relationships of bifunctional peptides based on overlapping pharmacophores at opioid and cholecystokinin receptors. J Med Chem. 49(10):2868-75, 2006.

Amir R, Argoff CE, Bennett GJ, Cummins TR, Durieux ME, Gerner P, Gold MS, Porreca F, Strichartz GR. The role of sodium channels in chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. J Pain. 7(5 Suppl 3):S1-29, 2006.

Ibrahim MM, Rude ML, Stagg NJ, Mata HP, Lai J, Vanderah TW, Porreca F, Buckley NE, Makriyannis A, Malan TP Jr. CB2 cannabinoid receptor mediation of antinociception. Pain. 122(1-2):36-42, 2006.

Vera-Portocarrero LP, Zhang ET, Ossipov MH, Xie JY, King T, Lai J, Porreca F. Descending facilitation from the rostral ventromedial medulla maintains nerve injury-induced central sensitization. Neuroscience. 2006. (E-publication)

Sponsored Research Through MSRP: 

Steven Galper (MSRP 1994, 1995): "To examine the effect of inhibition of synthesis of FOS protein, using antisense or mismatch oligonucleotide, on measures of neuropathic pain intensity after production of an experimental neuropathic pain syndrome."

NIH Undergraduate Diversity Program: 

 Pablo Hernandez, 2015; "Migraines"; 2016, "Who is DNIC?"

NIH High School Student Research Program: 

-Rosalie Cox, Salpointe Catholic High School, 1997
-Veronica Gutierrez, Flowing Wells High School, 1997

-Linzie Clark, Flowing Wells High School, 1998
-Rachel Neubeck, Tucson High Magnet School, 1999
-Steven James Stacey, Morenci Junior/Senior High School (Morenci, AZ), 2003

-Pablo Hernandez, Catalina Magnet High School, 2012

-Marlene Martinez, Desert View High School, 2012

-Danielle Gomez, Desert View High School, 2012

-Jerry Levitski, Tucson High Magnet School, 2012

-Anyssa Benitez, Pueblo High Magnet School, 2013

-Andrea VanDuinen, Rio Rico High School, 2013

-Nathalie Mata, Catalina High School, 2014

-Kimberly Munoz, Tucson High School, 2015, 2016

-Esmeralda Salazar, Pueblo High School, 2015

-Diviya Rajesh, Basis Tucson North High School, 2016

NIH K-12 Science Teacher Program: 

-Carol Dittmer, Kayenta Middle School, 1997
-Timothy R. Blee, Carson Middle School, 1998
-Lisa Mooney, Sunnyside High School, 1999

Last Updated: 
July 28, 2016