How can we cure chronic pain?

Ended on 9/30/16
Campaign Ended
  • $216
  • 47%
  • Finished
    on 9/30/16

About This Project

Chronic pain is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world affecting roughly 100 million Americans. However, I'm focusing just on migraines. They affect about 38 million people in the US alone & about 1 billion worldwide. Imagine walking into 100 people a day, that means you have met 14 people just with this type of chronic pain. In hopes to cure chronic migraine pain, I plan to look for correlations between DNA & protein expression.

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What is the context of this research?

I know that very many people suffer from painful chronic migraines, so I wanted to help some of those people I know carry on with their daily lives. It's extremely hard to do everyday tasks with chronic migraines because the side effects are so severe (vomiting, dizziness, etc.). In order to help them and plenty others, I wanted to research the promoter of a certain gene in the cell's DNA. The promoter is responsible for turning on or off the gene which will synthesize or not synthesize a certain migraine protein. If we can find the sequence that specifically controls that migraine protein expression, then possibly, we could control the migraine.

What is the significance of this project?

Chronic pain is the third most prevalent illness in the world affecting roughly 100 million Americans [1] There are many forms of chronic pain such as arthritis, migraines, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), etc. However, I'm focusing on migraines. Migraines affect about thirty-eight million people just in the USA and about one billion people worldwide [2]. Imagine walking into one hundred people a day, that means you have met fourteen people just with this type of chronic pain. By relieving just one form of chronic pain, we can help roughly a billion people take back their lives from chronic migraines.

What are the goals of the project?

The goal is to find distinct correlations between protein expression and the gene of interest's promoter DNA sequence to see if they are related and therefore responsible for the chronic migraines. This fall, I plan on entering highly competitive local and international competitions such as AzSEF (Arizona Science and Engineering Fair), ISEF (International....), and STS (Science Talent Search) to showcase my research.


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The Plasmid miniprep kit and In-Fusion HD cloning plus will allow me to replicate plasmid DNA, and "extract" the size of the promoter region in order to bioinformatically study the correlation between its (promoter) sequence and protein expression. The Quick gel extraction kit is used to physically extract the plasmid pieces from the agarose gels, so that way I can identify the sequences using other techniques.

Endorsed by

Nick is an outstanding student and a tremendous young man. He is a very hard worker who I know will do a great job on this project. He is more than worthy of any and all support on this project. Good luck and all the best in this most worthwhile endeavor.
Nicholas is a student in my AP Statistics class, and I am really excited for him to apply statistics to his project. Nicholas is a conscientious and inspiring student, and his project has the potential to help understand chronic pain and showcase his research.
The CREST program is a great opportunity for highly motivated students and clearly Nicholas is one of them. I am inclined to think his efforts will be worth the backing he seeks. We all may be thanking him one day soon.
I have had Nicholas in class and I'm confident he will do an outstanding job on this project! I hope so because I'm a sufferer! Thanks Nicholas for undertaking this study. Good luck.
Nicholas has a deep passion for neurology and gaining a deeper understanding of the brain's inner-workings. This project is a continuation of research he began during a summer internship at the University of Arizona Summer Institute on Medical Ignorance. Your financial help will aid in purchasing the necessary reagents for the continuation of Nicholas' research.
I am excited about this project. As a sufferer of chronic pain, I understand the importance of this research. Nicholas is a dedicated student who will benefit from the experience of project based learning, and his research could benefit others. .
Nicholas Boria is a committed student in our CREST Bioscience program. His research has the potential to contribute to advancements in chronic pain treatment. Our facilities will provide all equipment, lab time, and associated materials to support his research.
Nicholas is one of our dedicated Biotechnology students who takes his academic interests and seeks to apply them in the real world. His commitment to using his studies to the betterment of the community around him is refreshing and inspiring. This study is important as I believe it will help him set the precedent for realizing the potential of applied problem-based learning.

Meet the Team

Nicholas Boria
Nicholas Boria


Paradise Valley High School - CREST, University of Arizona - College of Medicine
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Nicholas Boria

I am Nicholas Boria and am currently a Senior at Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Arizona. I am enrolled in the Center for Research, Engineering, Science, and Technology (CREST) program and have focused my studies on biotechnology. I attended and undertook research at the Governor’s School of Math and Science. There, I worked with astronomy director, Dr. Toney Minter, at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia studying astronomy. Even when I was younger, there would often be a human anatomy book in my hands. I was simply too curious to not pick them up and read. Reading through them, I was especially attracted to sections covering the brain and neurological function. I learned about a wide range of genetic disorders and became motivated to help those suffering from abnormal brain function. One of my main career goals is to help people. I’m executing this plan by aspiring to be a neurosurgeon. I dream of leading a goal-focused team either in surgery or otherwise treating a patient non-surgically with precision medicine.

Click here to learn more about me on my website.

Additional Information

Project Backers

  • 9Backers
  • 47%Funded
  • $216Total Donations
  • $24.00Average Donation
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