Mary Magdalen Heinricher, Ph.D.

Javits Award
Photo of Mary Magdalen Heinricher, Ph.D. 2017 Javits Award recipient

Dr. Heinricher studies how the brain actively influences our sensitivity to pain. She has contributed substantially to the understanding of how the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) participates in pain modulation, including her discovery that a subset of pain-modulating neurons in the RVM respond to light. Her current project will use an animal model of migraine headache to investigate how sensory information gains access to pain-modulating systems, including how light can be converted into a body sensation, producing discomfort and aversion, as in photophobia.