Ian Meng


PhD, Brown University 1997


Dr. Meng received his ScB in Neuroscience at Brown University in 1991 and went on to complete his PhD with Dr. David Bereiter at Brown in the Department of Biology and Medicine, Section of Physiology and Neurobiology in 1997.  As a graduate student, Dr. Meng characterized corneal sensitive neurons within the spinal trigeminal nucleus, examining the spatial and electrophysiological properties with which corneal stimulation is encoded.   Following completion of his PhD, Dr. Meng worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Howard Fields in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  His postdoctoral studies focused on pain modulatory systems, in particular the circuits mediating the analgesic properties of cannabinoids.  Dr. Meng joined the University of New England in 2003 where he is currently a professor of Biomedical Sciences and the director of the COBRE Center for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function.

Research Interests

The overarching goal of Dr. Meng’s research is to understand trigeminal sensory processing underlying headache and ocular pain and homeostasis, with an emphasis on two conditions: medication overuse headache and dry eye syndrome.   Dr. Meng’s lab is currently investigating sensory neurons that regulate tearing and ocular pain under both normal and pathological conditions such as dry eye.   In studies relevant to headache, Dr. Meng’s research aims to understand the neuroplastic changes induced by the chronic use of analgesics, as such treatments have been shown to transform episodic migraines into chronic daily headache.

Selected Publications

  • Robbins A, Schmitt D, Winterson BJ, Meng ID (2012) Chronic morphine increases Fos-positive neurons after concurrent cornea and tail stimulation. Headache. 52 (2): 262-73.
  • Robbins A, Kurose M, Winterson BJ, Meng ID (2012) Menthol activation of corneal cool cells induces TRPM8-mediated lacrimation but not nociceptive responses in rodents. Invest Ophtahalmol Vis Sci. 53(11): 7034-42.
  • Reynolds J, Bilsky EJ, Meng ID (2011) Selective ablation of mu-opioid receptor expressing neurons in the rostral ventromedial medulla attenuates stress-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Life Sci. 89(9-10): 313-9.
  • De Felice M, Ossipov MH, Wang R, Lai J, Chichorro JG, Meng I, Dodick DW, Vanderah TW, Dussor G, Porreca F (2010) Triptan-induced latent sensitization: A possible basis for medication overuse headache. Annals of Neurology. 67(3): 325-37.
  • De Felice M, Ossipov MH, Wang R, Dussor G, Lai J, Meng ID, Chichorro J, Andrews JS, Rakhit S, Maddaford S, Dodick D Porreca F (2010) Triptan-induced enhancement of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in trigeminal ganglion dural afferents underlies increased responsiveness to potential migraine triggers. Brain. 133(Pt 8): 2475-88.
  • Hirata H, Meng ID (2010) Cold-sensitive corneal afferents respond to a variety of ocular stimuli central to tear production: implications for dry eye disease. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 51(8):3969-76.
  • Okada-Ogawa A, Kurose M, Meng ID (2010) Attenuation of cannabinoid-induced inhibition of medullary dorsal horn neurons by a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist. Brain Res. 1359: 81-9.
  • Okada-Ogawa A, Porreca F, Meng ID (2009) Sustained morphine-induced sensitization and loss of diffuse noxious inhibitory controls in dura-sensitive medullary dorsal horn neurons. J Neurosci. 29: 15828-15835.


  • 2010 to 2015 — Mechanism of Medication Overuse Headache and Chronic Migraine Pain from NIH/NINDS
  • 2011 to 2014 — Dry-responsive corneal afferents, TRPM8, and regulation of tears from NIH/NEI
  • 2012 to 2017 — Interdisciplinary Center of Excellence for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function from NIH/NCRR

Dissertation Students

Cara Sullivan