Dr. Hoon studies, at a molecular and cellular level, the basic neuroscience underlying the sense of somatosensation (hot, cold, pain, itch and the sense of touch), particularly the molecules that contribute to the detection, neural transmission and neuronal pathways employed by somatosensation. Molecular genetic approaches in combination with anatomical, pharmacological, and behavioral methods are used in mouse models to probe these neuronal components and circuits. These studies provide information about the mechanisms by which somatosensory stimuli are distinguished from each other, and the means by which distinct innate responses are elicited by these stimuli (for example the scratching that accompanies itch). Ultimately, these studies will reveal biologically relevant molecules and cell-types that are involved in sensing pain and itch, and will help identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Dr. Mark Hoon earned his PhD in the lab of John Findlay at the University of Leeds where he studied the molecular components in invertebrate vision. After completing a NATO postdoctoral fellowship in Freiburg, Germany, Dr. Hoon joined Nicholas Ryba's lab at NIDCR to investigate taste. Over a period of 15 years, in collaboration with the Charles Zuker’s laboratory at Columbia University, they discovered the receptors and cells required for sweet, bitter, and sour taste. At the end of 2006, Dr. Hoon started his own lab working on deciphering signaling pathways involved in mammalian somatosensation. The lab has been dissecting the cellular basis for thermosensation and pain signaling. Recently uncovered the neural pathway for itch by studying neuropeptides. Dr. Hoon's group is continuing to study peripheral mechanisms of somatosensation using molecular genetic techniques.
- Pandey M, Zhang JH, Mishra SK, Adikaram PR, Harris B, Kahler JF, Loshakov A, Sholevar R, Genis A, Kittock C, Kabat J, Ganesan S, Neubig RR, Hoon MA, Simonds WF. A central role for R7bp in the regulation of itch sensation. Pain. 2017 May;158(5):931-944.
- Yarmolinsky DA, Peng Y, Pogorzala LA, Rutlin M, Hoon MA, Zuker CS. Coding and Plasticity in the Mammalian Thermosensory System. Neuron. 2016 Dec 7;92(5):1079-1092.
- Ran C, Hoon MA, Chen X. The coding of cutaneous temperature in the spinal cord. Nat Neurosci. 2016 Sep;19(9): 1201-9.
- Tränkner D, Hahne N, Sugino K, Hoon MA, Zuker C. Population of sensory neurons essential for asthmatic hyperreactivity of inflamed airways. PNAS 2014 Aug 5;111(31) 11515-20.
- Mishra SK and Hoon, MA. The Cells and Circuitry for Itch Responses in Mice. Science 2013 May 24;340(6135):968-971.
- Pogorzalla L, Mishra SK and Hoon MA. The cellular code for mammalian thermosensation. Journal of Neuroscience 2013 Mar 27;33(13): 5533-41.
- Mishra SK, Holzman S and Hoon MA. A nociceptive signaling role for neuromedin B. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012 Jun 20;32(25):8686-95.
- Mishra SK, Tisel S, Orestes P, Bhangoo S, Hoon M (2011) TrpV1-lineage neurons are required for thermal sensation. EMBO J. 2011 Feb 2;(3):582-93.
- Mishra SK & Hoon MA. Ablation of TrpV1 neurons reveal their selective role in thermal pain sensation. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2010 Jan;43(1): 167-172.
- Huang, A. L., Chen, X., Hoon, M. A., Chandrashekar, J., Trankner, D., Ryba, N. J. P., Zuker, C. S. The cells and logic for mammalian sour taste detection. Nature. 2006 Aug 24;442(7105):934-938.