20353-White, Fletcher

Fletcher A. White, PhD

Vergil K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia

NB 514D, Neuroscience Research Bldg.

Indianapolis, IN
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Fletcher A. White, PhD, is a medically-trained neuroscientist involved in both pre-clinical and clinical research studies for nearly 30 years. His experience in medical/graduate education and university leadership positions at two nationally recognized medical schools—Loyola University, Chicago, and Indiana University School of Medicine—provides Dr. White with a multitude of resources for conducting basic and translational research. Dr. White received a Bachelor of Art (Psychology, 1985) from Baldwin-Wallace College; a Master of Science (Pathology, 1990) and a doctorate (Anatomy and Neurobiology, 1994) from the Medical College of Ohio. His graduate work was followed by postdoctoral training at Washington University in St. Louis (Neurology, 1994-1998) with Dr. William Snider and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Anesthesia and Critical Care, 1998-1999) with Dr. Clifford Woolf. He was appointed as an associate research scientist at Yale University School of Medicine in both the Departments of Neurology and Anesthesiology (1999-2002). He joined the faculty of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine as an assistant professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, 2002-2009) where he rose to associate professor and director of research for the Department of Anesthesiology. Dr. White joined Indiana University School of Medicine in October 2009 and became the Vergil K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia. Dr. White is an expert in the field of chronic pain mechanisms. His research group studies the sequence and nature of the neuroinflammatory events that govern neuron and non-neuronal communication in the nervous system following injury in both pre-clinical models and clinical subjects. Many of these events may be critical for the discovery of new mechanisms and targets for chronic pain treatment. His hobbies include hiking, travel, reading, ACDs and social issues.

Key Publications

No pain, no gain? The effects of pain-promoting neuropeptides and neurotrophins on fracture healing.

Sun S, Diggins NH, Gunderson ZJ, Fehrenbacher JC, White FA, Kacena MA. Bone. 2020 Feb;131:115109. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2019.115109. Epub 2019 Nov 9. Review. PMID:31715336

Towards precision medicine for pain: diagnostic biomarkers and repurposed drugs.

Niculescu AB, Le-Niculescu H, Levey DF, Roseberry K, Soe KC, Rogers J, Khan F, Jones T, Judd S, McCormick MA, Wessel AR, Williams A, Kurian SM, White FA. Mol Psychiatry. 2019 Apr;24(4):501-522. doi: 10.1038/s41380-018-0345-5. Epub 2019 Feb 12. PMID:30755720

Small-molecule CaVα1⋅CaVβ antagonist suppresses neuronal voltage-gated calcium-channel trafficking.

Chen X, Liu D, Zhou D, Si Y, Xu D, Stamatkin CW, Ghozayel MK, Ripsch MS, Obukhov AG, White FA, Meroueh SO. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Nov 6;115(45):E10566-E10575. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1813157115. Epub 2018 Oct 24. PMID:30355767

Decoy peptide targeted to Toll-IL-1R domain inhibits LPS and TLR4-active metabolite morphine-3 glucuronide sensitization of sensory neurons.

Allette YM, Kim Y, Randolph AL, Smith JA, Ripsch MS, White FA. Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 16;7(1):3741. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03447-9. PMID:28623271


Titles & Appointments

  • Vergil K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia
  • Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Adjunct Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology
  • Research Career Scientist, Roudebusch Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • Education
    1994 PhD Medical College of Ohio
    1989 MS Medical College of Ohio
    1985 BA Baldwin Wallace College
  • Research
    A large proportion of my research has been directed at the influence of tissue-derived  factors on the nervous system during development and following disease/trauma. The body of this work includes the role of neurotrophins during neurodevelopment/apoptosis(NGF/TrkA & NT3/TrkC), axon guidance molecules during development (semaphorins), the role of chemokines/receptors in adult rodent injury models (CCL2/CCR2 and CXCL12/CXCR4), the influence of toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) in the peripheral nervous system, study of drug-induced changes in voltage-gated sodium channels such as NaV1.7, and the influence of damage-associated molecular  patterns (DAMPs) and their cognate receptors in both neuropathic pain syndromes and following traumatic brain injury. As PI or co-investigator on several university-, state-, NIH- and DOD-funded grants, I have established productive intramural and extramural research collaborations allowing me to utilize a variety of injury models including a newly developed closed head injury in mice. We have  numerous molecular biological techniques, transgenic mice (CRISPR knockouts, Cre-lox tissue-specific knockout, optogenetic and GCamp3 lines), neuroanatomical tract tracing, electrophysiology (current and voltage clamp), telemetry, immunocytochemistry, stimulus dependent and independent measures of rodent behavior and access to both clinical databases and specimens. A most recent addition to the laboratory is the pre-clinical and clinical use of electroacupuncture to treat the effects of trauma on both the peripheral and central nervous system.
  • Professional Organizations
    American Society of Pain
    Association for Clinical & Translational Sciences
    International Association for the Study of Pain
    National Neurotrauma Society
    Society for Neuroscience
  • Clinical Interests
    The unique environment of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Roudebush Veterans Medical Center allows me to also conduct a number of clinical observational and interventional investigations. These IRB-approved studies include biomarkers associated with 1) polytrauma alone and polytrauma with traumatic brain injury, 2) development of chronic pain following mild traumatic brain injury, and 3) a phase II drug trial using a FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug as an adjuvant to opioids for cancer pain.

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