Before joining NYU, Khanna was the associate director of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, and a member of the BIO5 Institute.
The NYU Pain Research Center is a new initiative that will focus on developing solutions to the opioid crisis. Khanna will set basic science and clinical research directives, recruit investigators with expertise in the neurobiology of pain, recruit and train basic and translational pain scientists, develop collaborations with corporations and pharmaceutical companies, and identify funding sources for research on alternatives to opioids for chronic pain treatment, NYU said.
Khanna's research has shed light on the biologic mechanisms of pain, and he and colleagues discovered a compound that shows potential as a nonopioid alternative treatment for pain. He holds five U.S. patents for pain treatment and co-founded Regulonix, an early-stage biotechnology firm.
In addition to the directorship, Khanna has been appointed a professor in the department of molecular pathobiology at NYU College of Dentistry, the university said.
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