Igor Spigelman, Ph.D.
Chair of the Section of Oral Biology
(310) 825-3190
UCLA School of Dentistry
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951668
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668
Office:  63-078 CHS


Dr. Igor Spigelman joined the faculty at the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1991. He contributes to teaching in the dental school curriculum and in graduate school courses including the interdepartmental Neuroscience Graduate Program. His research on the mechanisms of chronic pain and alcohol addiction resulted in numerous publications and two patents.

Educational & Professional Background

  • B.Sc., University of Toronto, 1983

  • M.Sc., University of British Columbia, 1986

  • Ph.D. in Pharmacology, University of British Columbia, 1988 

  • Postdoc. in Neuropharmacology, Toronto Hospital and University of Toronto, 1991

  • Director of the Oral Biology Ph.D. Program, 1999-2003 

Research & Interests

Dr. Spigelman is a neuropharmacologist conducting research on the mechanisms and relief of chronic pain, addiction, seizures and other neurodegenerative conditions such as stroke and brain trauma. His lab utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to identify molecular targets for therapy followed by development of novel pharmaceuticals and non-viral gene therapies for these disorders.

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Neuroscience, 1987-present

  • International Association for the Study of Pain, 1989-present

  • UCLA Brain Research Institute, 1991-present

  • UCLA Dental Research Institute, 1997-present

  • International Association for Dental Research, 2000-present

  • American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, 2004-present

  • Research Society on Alcoholism, 2006-present

Representative Publications

  • Spigelman, I. Physiologic mechanisms of inhibition and status epilepticus. In: Status Epilepticus, Mechanisms and Management, C.G. Wasterlain and D.M. Treiman editors, MIT Press, Cambridge, Chapter 21, 281-293, 2006.

  •  Mitrirattanakul, S., Ramakul, N., Guerrero, A. V., Matzuka, Y., T. Ono, H. Iwase, Mackie, K., Faull, K. F., and Spigelman, I. Site-specific increases in peripheral cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands in a model of neuropathic pain, Pain, 126: 102-114, 2006.

  • Liang, J., Suryanarayanan, A., Abriam, A., Snyder, B.A., Olsen, R.W., and Spigelman, I. Mechanisms of reversible GABAA receptor plasticity after ethanol intoxication. Journal of Neuroscience 27: 12367-12377, 2007.

  • Thakor, D.K., Lin, A., Matsuka, Y., Meyer, E.M., Ruangsri, S., Nishimura, I., and Spigelman, I. Increased peripheral nerve excitability and local NaV1.8 mRNA up-regulation in painful neuropathy Molecular Pain 5:14, 2009.

  • Spigelman, I., Olsen, R.W., Liang, J., Suryanarayanan, A., Lindemeyer, A.K., Meyer, E.M., Shen, Y., Bagnera, R. & Marty, V.Molecular and Functional Changes in Receptors: GABA and Chronic Alcohol Consumption. In: Biological Research on Addiction: Comprehensive Addictive Behaviors and Disorders. Edited by Peter Miller (Editor-in-Chief), Elsevier Inc., Academic Press, Chapter 130, pp. 219–230, 2013.

Additional Information

Courses taught:
  • System 1 (OSD102, Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Renal): Lecturer

  • System 2 (OSD102, G-I, Endocrine & Reproduction): Lecturer

  • System 3 (OSD102, Nervous System): Lecturer System 4 (OSD102, Neurobiology & Musculoskeletal): Chair

  • Pro-Seminar in Oral Biology (OB212): Lecturer

  • Graduate seminar course in Neuroscience (M210A): Chair/Co-chair