Donald Simone, PhD

Professor, Department Chair, Division Director, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences

Donald Simone

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-6464

Fax 612-626-2651

Office Address:
17-252 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine (Neurophysiology), 1984-1988

PhD, City University of New York (Neuropsychology), 1985

BS, Northeastern University (Psychology), 1977


Dr. Donald A. Simone is Professor and Chair of the Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota. He also holds appointments in the Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry. Dr. Simone earned a Ph.D. degree from the City University of New York with emphasis on behavioral pharmacology, and completed post-doctoral training in psychophysics and neurophysiology from the Department of Anesthesiology at Yale Medical School.

Dr. Simone's primary interest is the neural encoding of pain and hyperalgesia. He compares behavioral and psychophysical measures of sensation to elelctrophysiological responses of single neurons located in peripheral nerve or spinal cord. He is currently using this combined behavioral/physiological approach to study the mechanisms by which cancer cells interact with neurons to produce pain. Dr. Simone also studies pharmacological modulation of pain using similar approaches. He is presently investigating how cannabinoids diminish pain and hyperalgesia with particular emphasis on the peripheral nervous system. Dr. Simone is also interested in the use of sensory testing for the detection of peripheral neuropathy in humans. He is currently developing new and sensitive sensory tests so that neuropathy can be detected in early stages of disease.

Awards & Recognition

  • National Research Service Award: Post-doctoral Fellowship, 1985 Title: Neural Mechanisms of Cutaneous Hyperalgesia
  • Sigma Xi, member, 1982
  • Northeastern University - University and Departmental Honors, 1977

Professional Associations

Leadership Roles

2014-Current Professor and Chair
Dept. of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Minneapolis, MN 5545

2005-2014 Professor and Interim Chair
Dept. of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Minneapolis, MN 5545

2001-2005 Associate Professor and Interim Chair
Dept. of Oral Sciences
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Minneapolis, MN 55455

1997-2001 Associate Professor
Dept. of Psychiatry
University of Minnesota Medical School
Minneapolis, MN 55455

1992-1997 Assistant Professor
Dept. of P


Research Summary/Interests

Neural encoding of pain and hyperalgesia; Pain transmission: peripheral nerve and spinal cord; Chronic pain mechanisms; Cannabinoids and pain


Barney, CC, Merbler, AM, Simone, DA, Walk, D & Symons, FJ 2020, ‘Investigating the Feasibility of a Modified Quantitative Sensory Testing Approach to Profile Sensory Function and Predict Pain Outcomes Following Intrathecal Baclofen Implant Surgery in Cerebral Palsy’ Pain Med, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 109-117. https://10.1093/pm/pnz114

Shueb, SS, Erb, SJ, Lunzer, MM, Speltz, R, Harding-Rose, C, Akgün, E, Simone, DA & Portoghese, PS 2019, ‘Targeting MOR-mGluR(5) heteromers reduces bone cancer pain by activating MOR and inhibiting mGluR5’ Neuropharmacology, vol. 160, p. 107690. https://10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.107690

Uhelski, ML & Simone DA 2019, ‘Sensitization of nociceptors and dorsal horn neurons contributes to pain in sickle cell disease’ Neurosci Lett, vol. 705, pp. 20-26.

Cataldo, G, Erb, SJ, Lunzer, MM, Luong, N, Akgün, E, Portoghese, PS, Olson, JK & Simone, DA 2019, ‘The bivalent ligand MCC22 potently attenuates hyperalgesia in a mouse model of cisplatin-evoked neuropathic pain without tolerance or reward’ Neuropharmacology, pii: S0028-3908(18)30827-X.

Khasabova, IA, Uhelski, M, Khasabov, SG, Gupta, K, Seybold, VS & Simone, DA 2019, ‘Sensitization of nociceptors by prostaglandin E(2)-glycerol contributes to hyperalgesia in mice with sickle cell disease’ Blood, vol. 133, no. 18, pp. 1989-1998.

Khasabova, IA, Khasabov, SG, Olson, JK, Uhelski, ML, Kim, AH, Albino-Ramírez, AM, Wagner, CL, Seybold, VS & Simone, DA 2019, ‘Pioglitazone, a PPAR? agonist, reduces cisplatin-evoked neuropathic pain by protecting against oxidative stress’ Pain, vol. 160, no. 3, pp. 688-701.

Lipshetz, B, Khasabov, SG, Truong, H, Netoff, TI, Simone, DA & Giesler, GJ Jr 2018, ‘Responses of thalamic neurons to itch- and pain-producing stimuli in rats’ J Neurophysiol, vol. 120, no. 3, pp. 1119-1134.

Kaliappan, S, Simone, DA & Banik, RK 2018, ‘Nonlinear Inverted-U Shaped Relationship Between Aging and Epidermal Innervation in the Rat Plantar Hind Paw: A Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy Study’ J Pain, vol. 19, no. 9, pp. 1015-1023.

Cataldo, G, Lunzer, MM, Olson, JK, Akgün, E, Belcher, JD, Vercellotti, GM, Portoghese, PS & Simone, DA 2018, ‘Bivalent ligand MCC22 potently attenuates nociception in a murine model of sickle cell disease’ Pain, vol. 159, no. 7, pp. 1382-1391.

Khasabov, SG, Malecha, P, Noack, J, Tabakov, J, Giesler, GJ Jr & Simone, DA 2017, ‘Hyperalgesia and sensitization of dorsal horn neurons following activation of NK-1 receptors in the rostral ventromedial medulla’ J Neurophysiol, vol.118, no. 5, pp. 2727-2744.



NSCI 6110: Neuroscience for Dental Students (Spring semester)