Patients and Visitors go to

Neurology Chair

Dane Chetkovich, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chairman
of Neurology

Faculty By Divisions

Ronald G. Wiley, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Neurology


Dr. Wiley earned his B.S. from Northwestern University in 1972, and attended The Graduate School at Northwestern University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1975. Wiley also received his medical degree from The Medical School at Northwestern University in 1975. He served an internship and junior assistant residency in Internal Medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, and then a residency in Neurology at New York Hospital from 1977 – 1980. He spent the next two years as a fellow of Neurology in the Laboratory of Neurobiology at Cornell University Medical College.

Wiley joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1982 as assistant professor of Neurology, and also became instructor of Pharmacology. Wiley is currently professor of Neurology and Pharmacology for Vanderbilt University, as well as Emeritus Chief of the Neurology Service of the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. Wiley, a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and member of the American Neurological Association, is also associate editor for the Journal of Neurocytology, ad hoc reviewer for National Science Foundation, and referee for Journal of Neurocytology, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, American Journal of Pathology, Life Sciences, Neuroscience Letters, Neurology, Cancer Research, American Journal of Pathology, Brain Research, Neuroscience and J. Neuroscience.



The Laboratory of Experimental Neurology at the VAMC is dedicated to studies of the neurobiology of pain perception using highly selective targeted toxins, specifically, substance P-saporin, which specifically destroys lamina I neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord that express the substance P receptor. Intrathecal injection of this toxin uniquely blocks the development of hyperalgesia after repetitive C nociceptor activation. Other toxins include dermorphin-saporin which is targeted at the mu opiate receptor and is being used to analyze the site of action of morphine as well as the endogenous descending analgesic system along with anti-DBH-saporin (noradrenergic toxin). Lesions from these toxins are assessed using immunohistochemistry and image analysis techniques. The lab also is active in developing and characterizing operant behavioral tests of pain perception in rodents. Ultimately, the targeted toxins are being developed for clinical trials in treatment of chronic, intractable pain. Opportunites are available for short or long research experiences in the neurobiology of pain.

Selected Bibliography:

Wiley, R.G. and Lappi, D.A. Destruction of Neurokinin-1 receptor expressing cells in vitro and in vivo using substance P-saporin in rats. Neurosci. Lett. 1997;230:97-100.

Mantyh,P.W., Rogers, S.D., Honore, P., Allen, B.J., Ghilardi, J.R., Li, J., Daughters, R.S., Lappi, D.A., Wiley, R.G., Simone, D.A. Inhibition of Hyperalgesia by Ablation of Lamina I Spinal Neurons Expressing the Substance P Receptor. Science 1997; 278:275-279.

Wiley, R.G. and Lappi, D.A. Targeting neurokinin-1 receptor-expressing neurons with [Sar9,Met(O2)11]substance P-saporin. Neurosci. Lett. 1999;277:1-4.