Steve Davidson

Steve Davidson , PhD

Associate Professor

Medical Sciences Building
231 Albert Sabin Way
Room 3408
Cincinnati, Ohio 45267
Phone 513-558-7688

Professional Summary

The Davidson Lab studies the neurobiology of pain and itch in animal models and human tissues. We are interested in the neural circuits connecting the diencephalon to limbic and cortical structures that generate and regulate perception of the sensory, affective, and motivational aspects of pain. These studies are conducted in rodent models in vivo and in vitro using neuromodulatory techniques, neurophysiology, and behavioral approaches. Additionally, we have a preclinical focus on pain and itch in the human peripheral nervous system and perform translational studies to better understand the genetic, anatomic, and functional roles of sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia and their interactions with end-organ systems such as the skin, and neighboring cells. Our goal is to be able to use this information to develop strategies to enhance resiliency to pain and itch, as well as precisely regulate nociceptive and pruriceptive signaling at the source.


Bachelor's Degree: University of New Orleans New Orleans, LA, 2003 (Psychology)

Doctoral Degree: University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN, 2009 (Neuroscience)

Postdoctoral: Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, 2014 (Pain Neurobiology)

Positions and Work Experience

12-2014 -06-2015 Faculty Instructor, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO

07-2015 -08-2021 Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.

09-2021 -To Present Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.

07-2021 -To Present Associate Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.

Research Support

Grant: #R21AR068012 Investigators:Davidashvili, Steve 06-01-2016 -05-31-2018 National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease Functional Characterization and Sensitization of Human Pruriceptors (transfer) Role:PI $388,641.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #2016 Pain Scholar Investigators:Davidson, Steve 09-01-2016 -08-31-2019 Rita Allen Foundation Thalamo-limbic circuit control of pain Role:PI $150,000.00 Active Level:Private Non-Profit

Grant: #26137 Investigators:Davidson, Steve 01-15-2018 -01-14-2020 Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Limbic Plasticity in Chronic Pain: A Role for Group II Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors Role:PI $70,000.00 Active Level:Private Non-Profit

Grant: #R01NS107356 Investigators:Davidson, Steve 06-15-2018 -04-30-2023 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Thalamo-Limbic Circuits in Pain Role:PI $350,000.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #R21NS106264 Investigators:Berta, Temugin; Davidson, Steve 09-01-2018 -08-31-2020 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Purification and Characterization of Mature Murine and Human Satellite Glial Cells Role:Collaborator $240,128.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #R01NS080889 Investigators:Baccei, Mark; Davidson, Steve; Li, Jie 04-01-2019 -01-31-2024 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Synaptic Function within Mature Central Pain Networks after Neonatal Injury Role:Collaborator $362,599.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #1248 / RF1NS113881 Investigators:Davidson, Steve 09-30-2019 -09-29-2020 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Discovery and validation of a new long noncoding RNA as a novel target for neuropathic pain Rutger's PI: Tao Role:PI $60,874.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #R01MH123545 Investigators:Davidson, Steve; Wohleb, Eric 05-06-2020 -02-28-2025 National Institute of Mental Health Defining neuron- and microglia-specific contributions to prefrontal cortex dysfunction in chronic stress Role:Collaborator $422,347.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #R01AI151552 Investigators:Davidson, Steve; Ross, Ashley 09-04-2020 -08-31-2025 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases "Monitoring neurochemical signaling dynamics in the lymph node" Role:Collaborator $378,222.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #VA IPA Steve Davidson 12-01-2021 -08-31-2022 Department of Veterans Affairs IPA for Dr. Renu Sah's VA Merit Award Role:PI 8477.01 Hold Level:Federal

Grant: #VA IPA Steve Davidson 12-01-2021 -08-31-2022 Department of Veterans Affairs IPA for Dr. Renu Sah's VA Merit Award Role:PI 8477.01 Hold Level:Federal

Grant: #VA IPA 06-01-2022 -08-31-2022 Department of Veterans Affairs VA IPA for Steve Davidson Role:PI 8419.02 Hold Level:Federal

Grant: #VA IPA 06-01-2022 -08-31-2022 Department of Veterans Affairs VA IPA for Steve Davidson Role:PI 8419.02 Hold Level:Federal

Grant: #R21NS130138 Investigators:Berta, Temugin; Davidson, Steve; Supp, Dorothy 09-08-2022 -08-31-2024 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Genetic and physiological comparison of native human sensory neurons and induced pluripotent stem cells differentiated to sensory neurons Role:PI 445500.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #LIFE Res Grant-Davidson Investigators:Davidson, Steve 10-07-2022 -10-06-2023 Local Initiative for Excellence (L.I.F.E.) Stress and nociceptive cortical integration underlie chronic pain and affective disorder comorbidity. Role:PI 50000.00 Awarded Level:Non Profit


Peer Reviewed Publications

Davidson S. (01-01-2016. ) A Spinal Circuit for Mechanically-Evoked Itch.Trends in Neurosciences, , 39 (1 ) ,1-2 More Information

Park S.;Brenner D.;Shin G.;Morgan C.;Copits B.;Chung H.;Pullen M.;Noh K.;Davidson S.;Oh S.;Yoon J.;Jang K.;Samineni V.;Norman M.;Grajales-Reyes J.;Vogt S.;Sundaram S.;Wilson K.;Ha J.;Xu R.;Pan T.;Kim T.;Huang Y.;Montana M.;Golden J.;Bruchas M.;Gereau R.;Rogers J. (12-01-2015. ) Soft, stretchable, fully implantable miniaturized optoelectronic systems for wireless optogenetics.Nature Biotechnology, , 33 (12 ) ,1280-1286 More Information

Valtcheva M.;Davidson S.;Zhao C.;Leitges M.;Gereau R. (01-06-2015. ) Protein kinase C? mediates histamine-evoked itch and responses in pruriceptors.Molecular Pain, , 11 (1 ) , More Information

O’Brien D.E.;Alter B.J.;Satomoto M.;Morgan C.D.;Davidson S.;Vogt S.K.;Norman M.E.;Gereau G.B.;Demaro J.A.;Landreth G.E.;Golden J.P.;Gereau R.W. (01-01-2015. ) ERK2 alone drives inflammatory pain but cooperates with ERK1 in sensory neuron survival.Journal of Neuroscience, , 35 (25 ) ,9491-9507 More Information

Valtcheva M.;Samineni V.;Golden J.;Gereau R.;Davidson S. (01-01-2015. ) Enhanced nonpeptidergic intraepidermal fiber density and an expanded subset of chloroquine-responsiv.Journal of Pain, , 16 (4 ) ,346-356 More Information

Davidson S.;Copits B.;Zhang J.;Page G.;Ghetti A.;Gereau R. (01-01-2014. ) Human sensory neurons: Membrane properties and sensitization by inflammatory mediators.Pain, , 155 (9 ) ,1861-1870 More Information

Davidson S.;Zhang X.;Khasabov S.;Moser H.;Honda C.;Simone D.;Giesler G. (09-15-2012. ) Pruriceptive spinothalamic tract neurons: Physiological properties and projection targets in the pri.Journal of Neurophysiology, , 108 (6 ) ,1711-1723 More Information

Davidson S.;Giesler G. (12-01-2010. ) The multiple pathways for itch and their interactions with pain.Trends in Neurosciences, , 33 (12 ) ,550-558 More Information

Davidson S.;Truong H.;Giesler G. (08-15-2010. ) Quantitative analysis of spinothalamic tract neurons in adult and developing mouse.Journal of Comparative Neurology, , 518 (16 ) ,3193-3204 More Information

Anderson G.;Cao Y.;Davidson S.;Truong H.;Pravetoni M.;Thomas M.;Wickman K.;Giesler G.;Martemyanov K. (03-01-2010. ) R7BP complexes with RGS9-2 and RGS7 in the striatum differentially control motor learning and locomo.Neuropsychopharmacology, , 35 (4 ) ,1040-1050 More Information

Davidson S.;Truong H.;Nakagawa Y.;Giesler G. (01-11-2010. ) A microinjection technique for targeting regions of embryonic and neonatal mouse brain in vivo.Brain Research, , 1307 ,43-52 More Information

Davidson S.;Zhang X.;Khasabov S.;Simone D.;Giesler G. (05-01-2009. ) Relief of itch by scratching: State-dependent inhibition of primate spinothalamic tract neurons.Nature Neuroscience, , 12 (5 ) ,544-546 More Information

Davidson S.;Zhang X.;Khasabov S.G.;Simone D.A.;Giesler G.J. (10-01-2008. ) Termination zones of functionally characterized spinothalamic tract neurons within the primate poste.Journal of Neurophysiology, , 100 (4 ) ,2026-2037 More Information

Davidson S.;Zhang X.;Yoon C.;Khasabov S.;Simone D.;Giesler G. (09-12-2007. ) The itch-producing agents histamine and cowhage activate separate populations of primate spinothalam.Journal of Neuroscience, , 27 (37 ) ,10007-10014 More Information

Zhang X.;Davidson S.;Giesler G. (09-07-2006. ) Thermally identified subgroups of marginal zone neurons project to distinct regions of the ventral p.Journal of Neuroscience, , 26 (19 ) ,5215-5223 More Information

Davidson S.;Golden J.P.;Copits B.A.;Ray P.R.;Vogt S.K.;Valtcheva M.V.;Schmidt R.E.;Ghetti A.;Price T.J.;Gereau R.W. (09-01-2016. ) Group II mGluRs suppress hyperexcitability in mouse and human nociceptors.Pain, , 157 (9 ) ,2081-2088 More Information

Valtcheva M.;Copits B.;Davidson S.;Sheahan T.;Pullen M.;McCall J.;Dikranian K.;Gereau R. (10-01-2016. ) Surgical extraction of human dorsal root ganglia from organ donors and preparation of primary sensor.Nature Protocols, , 11 (10 ) ,1877-1888 More Information

Oetjen L.;Mack M.;Feng J.;Whelan T.;Niu H.;Guo C.;Chen S.;Trier A.;Xu A.;Tripathi S.;Luo J.;Gao X.;Yang L.;Hamilton S.;Wang P.;Brestoff J.;Council M.;Brasington R.;Schaffer A.;Brombacher F.;Hsieh C.;Gereau R.;Miller M.;Chen Z.;Hu H.;Davidson S.;Liu Q.;Kim B. (09-21-2017. ) Sensory Neurons Co-opt Classical Immune Signaling Pathways to Mediate Chronic Itch.Cell, , 171 (1 ) ,217-228.e13 More Information

Renthal W.; Chamessian A.; Curatolo M.; Davidson S.; Burton M.; Dib-Hajj S.; Dougherty P.M.; Ebert A.D.; Gereau R.W.; Ghetti A.; Gold M.S.; Hoben G.; Menichella D.M.; Mercier P.; Ray W.Z.; Salvemini D.; Seal R.P.; Waxman S.; Woolf C.J.; Stucky C.L.; Price T.J. (05-05-2021. ) Human cells and networks of pain: Transforming pain target identification and therapeutic developmen.Neuron, , 109 (9 ) ,1426-1429 More Information

Schutte S.C.; Kadakia F.; Davidson S. (02-01-2021. ) Skin-Nerve Co-Culture Systems for Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery.Tissue Engineering - Part C: Methods, , 27 (2 ) ,89-99 More Information

Zahedi K.; Brooks M.; Barone S.; Rahmati N.; Murray Stewart T.; Dunworth M.; Destefano-Shields C.; Dasgupta N.; Davidson S.; Lindquist D.M.; Fuller C.E.; Smith R.D.; Cleveland J.L.; Casero R.A.; Soleimani M. (12-01-2020. ) Ablation of polyamine catabolic enzymes provokes Purkinje cell damage, neuroinflammation, and severe.Journal of Neuroinflammation, , 17 (1 ) , More Information

Ray P.R.; Wangzhou A.; Ghneim N.; Yousuf M.S.; Paige C.; Tavares-Ferreira D.; Mwirigi J.M.; Shiers S.; Sankaranarayanan I.; McFarland A.J.; Neerukonda S.V.; Davidson S.; Dussor G.; Burton M.D.; Price T.J. (10-01-2020. ) A pharmacological interactome between COVID-19 patient samples and human sensory neurons reveals pot.Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, , 89 ,559-568 More Information

Lee S.H.; Tonello R.; Im S.T.; Jeon H.; Park J.; Ford Z.; Davidson S.; Kim Y.H.; Park C.K.; Berta T. (01-01-2020. ) Resolvin D3 controls mouse and human TRPV1-positive neurons and preclinical progression of psoriasis.Theranostics, , 10 (26 ) ,12111-12126 More Information

Chen S.; Kadakia F.; Davidson S. (01-01-2020. ) Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor expressing neurons in anterior cingulate cortex become sens.Molecular Pain, , 16 , More Information

Reker A.N.; Chen S.; Etter K.; Burger T.; Caudill M.; Davidson S. (01-01-2020. ) The operant plantar thermal assay: A novel device for assessing thermal pain tolerance in mice.eNeuro, , 7 (2 ) , More Information

Huang C.C.; Yang W.; Guo C.; Jiang H.; Li F.; Xiao M.; Davidson S.; Yu G.; Duan B.; Huang T.; Huang A.J.W.; Liu Q. (08-01-2018. ) Anatomical and functional dichotomy of ocular itch and pain.Nature Medicine, , 24 (8 ) ,1268-1276 More Information


Invited Presentations

Steve Davidson (10-03-2015. ) From Periphery to Perception: The neural processing of pain and itch .Bethel University, St. Paul, MN. Conference. . Level:Regional

Contact Information

Academic - Medical Sciences Building
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati  Ohio, 45267
Phone: 513-558-7688