Assistant ProfessorSchool of Medicine
Schwitalla Hall, M301
D.C., National University of Health Sciences, 2005
Ph.D., Saint Louis University, 2011
Faculty AppointmentsDirector of Research, 2015-present
Center for Anatomical Science and Education
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor & Graduate Faculty, 2014-present
My laboratory focuses on examining the underlying mechanisms of chronic pain. During chronic pain states, the central nervous system undergoes pathophysiological changes that result in alterations in the communication between the brain and spinal cord, which enhances the processing of nociceptive information. In the Little laboratory, we examine how these pathophysiological changes occur in multiple chronic pain states, focusing on musculoskeletal pain. We are currently optimizing animal models of chronic low back pain (CLBP) to examine if and how alterations in supraspinal nociceptive modulation contribute to CLBP. Another exciting aspect of the Little laboratory is our collaboration with the Laboratory of Daniela Salvemini, PhD, and her award-winning work to study and target nitroxidative, sphingolipid and adenosine pathways for the relief of opioid-induced tolerance and chronic neuropathic pain, especially following chemotherapy.
Medical Neuroscience Module (NSCI-200) 2014-present
Graduate Human Systems Neurobiology (ANAT-530) 2014-present
Allied Health Professions Neuroscience (ANAT 430) 2014-present
Developmental Neurobiology (ANAT-632) 2014-present, Director
Journal Club (ANAT-691) 2014-present, Co-Director
Basic Research Techniques (ANAT- 5440) 2015-present, Director
Little J.W., Grieve, T., Cramer G.D., Rich J., Laptook E., Stiefel J., Linaker K, Quantifying Osteoarthritic Changes of the Zygapophyseal Joints From Radiographs: A Reliability Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2015 Jun 25. pii: S0161-4754(15)00069-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.12.009. [Epub ahead of print]Ford A, Castonguay A, Cottet M, Little J.W., Chen Z, Symons-Liguori A.M., Doyle T, Egan T.M., Vanderah TW, De Konnick Y, Tosh DK, Jacobson KA, and Salvemini D. Engagement of the GABA to KCC2 Signaling Pathway Contributes to the Analgesic Effects of A3AR Agonists in Neuropathic Pain. J of Neuroscience, 15 April 2015, 35(15): 6057-6067; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4495-14.2015
Little J.W., Ford A., Symons-Liguori A.M., Chen Z., Janes K., Doyle T., Bannister K., Xie J., Tosh D.K., Dickenson A., Vanderah T.W., Porreca F., Jacobson K., and Salvemini D. Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states. Brain. 2014. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awu330 First published online: 20 November 2014. PMID: 25414036.
Janes K., Wahlman C., Little J.W., Doyle T., Tosh D.K., Jacobson K.A., and Salvemini D. Spinal neuroimmmune activation is independent of T-cell infiltration and attenuated by A3 adenosine receptor agonists in a model of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2014 Sep 8. pii: S0889-1591(14)00427-9
Janes K., Little J.W., Li C., Bryant L., Chen C., Chen Z., Kamocki K., Doyle T., Snider A., Esposito E., Cuzzocrea S., Bieberich E., Obeid L., Petrache I., Nicol G., Neumann W.L., and Salvemini D. The Development and Maintenance of Paclitaxel-induced Neuropathic Pain Require Activation of the Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor Subtype 1. J Biol Chem. 2014, Jul 25;289(30):21082-21097. Epub 2014 May 29.
J.W., Cuzzocrea S, Bryant L, Esposito E, Doyle T, Rausaria S, Neumann
WL, and Salvemini D. Spinal mitochondrial-derived peroxynitrite enhances
neuroimmune activation during morphine hyperalgesia and antinociceptive
tolerance. Pain. 2013 Jul;154(7):978-86. Epub 2013 Feb 27.
Selected AbstractsMerlo, J.A., Lawson, C, McDowell, J.A., Benckendorf, A.N., Cramer, G.D., and Little, J.W. Onset and Progression of Facet Joint Articular Cartilage Degeneration Following Lumbar Spinal Hypomobility. Experimental Biology, April 1-6, 2016, Washington D.C. Platform presentation: Morphological Sciences Award Hybrid Symposium and American Association of Anatomists Langman Graduate Student Award Finalist.
Benckendorf, A.N., Merlo, J.A., Cramer, G.D., and Little, J.W. The Lumbar Facet Joint Capsule Thickens Following Spinal Segmental Hypomobility Induced Osteoarthritis. Experimental Biology, April 1-6, 2016, Washington D.C. Poster presentation and American Association of Anatomists Undergraduate Student Award, First Place.
McDowell, J.A., Merlo, J.A., Cramer, G.D., and Little, J.W. Lumbar Spinal Segmental Hypomobility Induced Osteoarthritis is Associated with Early Regression of Facet Joint Synovial Folds. Experimental Biology, April 1-6, 2016, Washington D.C. Poster presentation and American Association of Anatomists Undergraduate Student Award Finalist.
Little, J.W., Janes, K, Chen, Z, Wahlman, C, Tosh, DK, Jacobson KA, and Salvemini, D. Supraspinal adenosine A3 receptor (A3AR) activation reverses chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain through an IL-10 dependent mechanism. American Pain Society 34th Annual Scientific Meeting, May 14, 2015, Palm Springs, CA. Poster Presentation.
Little, J.W., Chen, Z., Janes, K., Ford, A., Doyle, T., Tosh, D.K., Jacobson K.A., and Salvemini, D. Central adenosine A3 receptor (A3AR) activation reverses neuropathic pain. American Pain Society 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, May 1, 2014, Tampa, FL. Poster Presentation.
Missouri State Anatomical Board 2014-present
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2012-Present
Distinguished Alumnus, Evangel University Department of Kinesiology, 2014
American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award, 2014
International Association for the Study of Pain Travel Grant, 2012
AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, 2012
American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award, 2011
Langman Graduate Student Scientific Platform Presentation Award-Runner-up, 2011
American Association of Anatomists, Experimental Biology Conference, Travel Award, 2010, 2011
Saint Louis University Graduate Teaching Award, 2010
Saint Louis University SOM, Center for Anatomical Science and Education Predoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2011
National University of Health Sciences Research Fellowship, 2003- 2005