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The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Highlighted Trainee Author, May 2021

April 21, 2021

DiesterClare Diester, MS, is The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Highlighted Trainee Author for the May 2021 issue. She is a pre-doctoral trainee in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Her mentor is Dr. S. Stevens Negus. The JPET articles that earned her selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author are companion papers titled “Behavioral Battery for Testing Candidate Analgesics in Mice. I. Validation with Positive and Negative Controls,” available at, and “Behavioral Battery for Testing Candidate Analgesics in Mice. II. Effects of Endocannabinoid Catabolic Enzyme Inhibitors and D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol,” available at

Ms. Diester’s doctoral research focuses on improving the preclinical-to-clinical translation of behavioral pain models alongside the identification of clinically effective candidate analgesics. She was awarded an F31 Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This fellowship supports her current work studying the expression, mechanisms, and treatment of pain-related depression of waking behaviors in male and female mice. Her research uses pharmacological, behavioral, and neurochemical approaches. 

The anticipated impact of Ms. Diester’s doctoral research is to demonstrate the importance of pharmacological characterization of preclinical pain behaviors, the inclusion of pain-depressed behaviors in evaluations of candidate analgesics, and consideration of the potential antinociceptive effects produced by selective inhibition of endocannabinoid (eCB) catabolic enzymes to allow controlled enhancement of endogenous eCB tone with temporal and spatial selectivity. She hopes to pursue postdoctoral research examining pain-related sleep disruption and its treatment after completing her dissertation work.  

When not in the lab, Clare enjoys exploring the outdoors, gardening, and quality time with loved ones. 

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