Giancarlo Vanini, M.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

Medical Science Building I, Room 7444

1150 West Medical Center Drive

Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Areas of Interest

The Vanini Lab research uses a systems neuroscience approach to understand how brain circuits regulate interacting states of sleep, wakefulness, anesthesia and pain. Specifically, we investigate (1) how sleep disruption can worsen ongoing pain and lead to the development of chronic pain, (2) the mechanisms underlying the loss of consciousness during states of sleep, sedation and general anesthesia, and (3) the neural basis of sleep-dependent cognitive dysfunction after a surgical insult. To this end, we use a combination of behavioral assays, electroencephalographic/electromyographic (EEG/EMG) recordings, neurochemical monitoring, calcium imaging in freely-behaving mice, neuroanatomical viral tracing, as well as chemogenetic/optogenetic tools to identify and probe neural networks controlling sleep, wakefulness and nociception.

Published Articles or Reviews

  • Hambrecht-Wiedbusch VS, Gabel M, Liu LJ, Imperial JP, Colmenero AV, Vanini G: Preemptive caffeine administration blocks the increase in postoperative pain caused by previous sleep loss in the rat: A potential role for preoptic adenosine A2A receptors in sleep-pain interactions. Sleep 40(9): 1, 2017. PM28934532 
  • Vanini G, Bassana M, Mast M, Mondino A, Cerda I, Phyle M, Chen V, Colmenero AV, Hambrecht- Wiedbusch VS, Mashour GA: Activation of preoptic GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons modulates sleep-wake architecture, but not anesthetic state transitions. Curr Biol 30(5): 779-787.e4, 2020. PM32084397/PMC7156032 
  • Mondino A, Hambrecht-Wiedbusch V, Li D, York AK, Pal D, González J, Torterolo P, Mashour GA, Vanini G: Glutamatergic neurons in the preoptic hypothalamus promote wakefulness, destabilize NREM sleep, suppress REM sleep, and regulate cortical dynamics. J Neurosci 41(15): 3462-3478, 2021. PM33664133
  •  Vlisides PE, Li D, McKinney A, Brooks J, Leis AM, Mentz G, Tsodikov A, Zierau M, Ragheb J, Clauw DJ, Avidan MS, Vanini G, Mashour GA: The effects of intraoperative caffeine on postoperative opioid consumption and related outcomes after laparoscopic surgery: A randomized controlled trial. Anesth Analg 133(1): 233-242, 2021. PM33939649

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