The Banik Lab

Dr. Banik lab


Dr. Ratan Banik

Dr. Banik is an anesthesiologist who did fellowship in the world-renowned University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, specializing in the interventional pain management. Dr. Banik's commitment to the field of pain medicine has been noted in a PhD degree in pain mechanisms and many peer reviewed publications in the professional journals including the Pain, Anesthesiology, Anesthesia and Analgesia. Dr. Banik is committed to research and providing compassionate patient care high quality outcomes for those who suffer from chronic pain.

Areas of Research Focus

The main area of focus for the Banik Lab is on the management of acute postoperative pain - an essential component of perioperative care.

"Opioids are a mainstay for perioperative pain management, however, they have significant side effects including constipation, respiratory depression, tolerance, addiction, difficulty in weaning, and even death—and their pain control is inadequate in nearly half of patients. Therefore, there is a critical need for better understanding of the cellular, physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying postoperative pain in order to facilitate the development of new and more efficacious therapies," said Dr. Banik.

Over the last 15 years, Dr. Banik's research has studied postoperative pain following surgical incision, including the study of behavioral phenotypes, peripheral nociceptor sensitization and pharmacologic modulation. At this time, he is interested in the application of genomic technologies to understand the molecular markers for incisional pain. In particular, transcriptomic changes using state-of-the-art, next-generation sequencing and finding out how these molecular networks evolve to develop incisional pain in order to develop new therapies or inform use of the current therapies to treat incisional pain.

Laboratory Assets/Equipment

The Banik Lab has access to animal behavioral study, electrophysiology, Ca imaging study, immunohistochemistry/confocal microscopy and animal surgery. In addition, they use the University of Minnesota Medical School's Genomic Center's core facility to perform RNA isolation, RNA-seq and Ingenuity pathway analysis.

  • Recent Publications
  • Previous Research
  • Recent Publications

    Book chapters

    -Nadar, V; Banik, R. (2019). Skin punch biopsy. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019 185 A. Abd-Elsayed (ed.), Pain, Read Skin punch Biopsy.

    Peer-reviewed Publications

    - Banik, RK and Urlich, A; Evidence of short-range aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and call for universal airborne precautions for anesthesiologists during the COVID-19 pandemic, Anesthesia and Analgesia, in press. 
    -Banik, RK, Therapeutic benefits of placebo surgery and challenges in neuromodulation research. Pain, in press.
    -Uhelski, M, McAdams, B, Johns, M, Simone, D, and Banik, RK. Lack of relationship between epidermal denervation by capsaicin and incisional pain behaviors: a laser scanning confocal microscopy study in rats Eur J Pain, Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1002/ejp.1564.
    -Banik, RK, Karuppiah, S, Kaizer, AM, Statistical significance versus clinical relevance. Comment on Br J Anaesth 2020; 124: 154–63. British Journal of Anaesthesia, March 18, 2020
    -Banik, RK and Chen Chen, CC, Spinal epidural hematoma after interlaminar cervical epidural steroid injection. Anesthesiology, July 29, 2019. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002896
    -Richardson, S and Banik, RK, Profound lip and tongue swelling after anesthesia induction. Anesthesiology News, July 2019.
    -Nayak, R and Banik, RK, “Current Innovations in Peripheral Nerve Stimulation,” Pain Research and Treatment, vol. 2018, Article ID 9091216, 5 pages, 2018.
    -Kaliappan, S, Simone, DA, Banik, RK; Nonlinear Inverted-U Shaped Relationship between Aging and Epidermal Innervation in the Rat Plantar Hind Paw: a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy Study. J Pain. 2018 Apr 13. pii: S1526-5900(18)30141-X.

  • Previous Research

    Past research from the Banik Lab includes finding behavioral, histochemical and physiologic changes in acute and chronic pain models, characterization of novel analgesic compounds, and the invention of new research methodologies.

    Dr. Banik was the Principal or co-Investigator on several Federation and NIH funded grants and was involved in the development of a novel glabrous skin nerve preparation, servo feedback-controlled stimulators to identify nociceptive thresholds for activation and the discovery of drugs with analgesic potential to treat postoperative pain.

    He and a team of collaborators also documented the effectiveness of nerve growth factor (NGF) antibody on animal models of acute incisional pain and showed that the NGF levels increased as a result of skin and muscle incision and monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to NGF, relieves spontaneous pain-like behaviors and heat hyperalgesia in the incisional pain models. Subsequent clinical studies by Pfizer of more than 11,000 patients have shown that the antibody has clinically meaningful efficacy over placebo in patients with osteoarthritis. The drug is now in phase 3 clinical trial.

    Additionally, with a team of collaborators and funding from NIH, the team showed that aged afferents (pain transmitters to the brain) undergo significant degenerative changes over time, which may contribute to diminished pain sensitivity. These results suggest that clinicians must predict a greater level of underlying pathology when elderly patients report pain.