Adrien Tassou

As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I have created this website as a platform to share my research findings and personal interests with others. I hope you find my content informative and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting!


I am a French neuroscientist with a background in behavioral pharmacology, having received my training at the Universite de Montpellier in southeastern France. During my studies, I developed a keen interest in the molecular mechanisms underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain, which became the focus of my graduate research.

As my fascination with the biology of emotions grew, I shifted my PhD project to explore the molecular processes underlying pain and depression comorbidities. Through this work, I identified FLT3 as a key neuronal modulator in the development of these comorbidities in a model of chronic pain.

My research also explores the complex role of opioids, which remain the most effective treatment for acute and chronic pain despite their many harmful side effects. I am particularly intrigued by the ways in which opioids can rapidly shift negative valence into neutral to positive valence through various neuronal mechanisms.

However, I am also aware of the risks associated with opioid use, including opioid tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia. To this end, I undertook a second PhD project investigating the involvement of peripheral FLT3 in the mechanisms leading to these side effects via a functional interaction involving the mu-opioid receptor.

My research interests ultimately led me to my current position as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Gregory Scherrer, a leading figure in the field of pain and opioids. Here, I continue to explore pain and opioids as a tool to investigate the biological processes of emotions. My long-term goal is to become a principal investigator in this field and to broaden my research to encompass emotions at a larger scale. 

Extracurricular interests

I believe that true passion is not solely dedicated to a single pursuit, but is a broader enthusiasm for life itself. While I am deeply committed to the field of science, which is known for its competitiveness and challenging journey towards becoming a principal investigator, I also recognize the importance of pursuing other interests to gain a new perspective and enhance my overall well-being.

My inherent curiosity about the natural world and biology has always fueled my passion for science, and I am not afraid to take risks in order to explore and expand my knowledge. Beyond the laboratory, I find great enjoyment in a variety of outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking, mountaineering, and skydiving, among others. By engaging in these diverse pursuits, I am able to step outside of my comfort zone and gain a new appreciation for the world around me.

Overall, I believe that having a well-rounded approach to life and embracing a variety of passions is essential for personal growth and fulfilment. While science is my primary focus, I am eager to continue exploring new hobbies and experiences that will help me to become a more knowledgeable and well-rounded individual.