​Neuroscience and Pain

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD) represent an array of diverse pathological and psychosocial disorders that affect any or all structures within the joint, including the disc, condyle, articular eminence and synovium, as well as other related structures including orofacial musculature,sensory neurons, subchondral bone and surrounding soft tissues.

Research into temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and orofacial pain has a long-standing history at Columbia. Our TMD/Orofacial Pain Clinic, founded in 1949 by Dr. Laszlo Schwartz, was among the first programs of its kind. A pioneer in the field, Dr. Schwartz was instrumental in transforming the thinking of the community of TMJD treatment from being merely focused on dental occlusion to adopting a broad medical approach..

Our research program focuses on TMJ biomarkers and extracellular matrix molecules, as well as using genetic mouse models of TMJ generation to examine the involvement of single and multiple genes in subchondral bone arthritis. Our portfolio collectively includes numerous independent NIH funded research grants either directly in the TMJD field or in directly related areas including biomechanics, stem cell biology, tissue engineering, cellular/molecular imaging, pain physiology, bone/cartilage biology, and molecular genetics.

Faculty active in this area