Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

In Memorial: Professor Gavril Pasternak

Paul A. Sloan, MD


It is with sadness and compassion that I write this editorial in the memory of Professor Gavril Pasternak. The field of Science, Pain Medicine, Neurology, Pharmacology, and Opioid Science and Pharmacology lost a world leader and pioneer in all of these areas, this February 2019. On behalf of the Journal of Opioid Management, the Editorial Board, the Publisher, the International Conference on Opioids, and as Editor-in-Chief, I am honored to give tribute to the life and person of Dr. Gavril Pasternak.

To summarize the life and work of Dr. Pasternak in a few pages is not possible, but this author is pleased to try and present some important highlights. Dr. Pasternak graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and then completed a residency in Neurology also at Hopkins. He completed Fellowship work at Johns Hopkins in the laboratory of Dr. Sol Snyder in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Thus, Dr. Pasternak was both a true clinician and scientist, always using science to help treat patients with pain using newer and better methods.

Please click the "PDF" link below to read more. (You may need to register or log into the site.)

Full Text:



Pasternak GW, Pan YX: Mix and match: Heterodimers and opioid tolerance. Neuron. 2011; 69(1): 6-8.

Pasternak GW: Preclinical pharmacology and opioid combinations. Pain Med. 2012 Mar; Suppl 1: S4-11.

Pasternak GW: Opioids and their receptors: Are we there yet? Neuropharmacology. 2014; 76: 198-203.

Pasternak GW: Opiate pharmacology and relief of pain. J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(16):1655-1561.

Pasternak GW: Mu opioid pharmacology: 40 years to the Promised Land. Adv Pharmacol. 2018; 82: 261-291.

Pert CB, Pasternak GW, Snyder SH: Opiate agonists and antagonists discriminated by receptor binding in brain. Science. 1973; 182: 1359-1361.

Pasternak GW, Snyder SH: Opiate receptor binding: Effects of enzymatic treatments. Mol Pharmacol. 1974; 10(2): 183-193.

Snyder SH, Pert CB, Pasternak GW: The opiate receptor. Ann Intern Med. 1974; 81(4): 534-540.

Pasternak GW, Goodman R, Snyder SH: An endogenous morphine- like factor in mammalian brain. Life Sci. 1975; 16(12): 1765-1769.

Ling GS, Spiegel K, Nishimura SL, Pasternak GW: Dissociation of morphine’s analgesic and respiratory depressant actions. Eur J Pharmacol. 1983; 86(3-4): 487-488.

Ling GS, MacLeod JM, Lee S, et al.: Separation of morphine analgesia from physical dependence. Science. 1984; 226(4673): 462-464.

Ling GS, Spiegel K, Lockhart SH, Pasternak GW: Separation of opioid analgesia from respiratory depression: Evidence for different receptor mechanisms. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1985; 232(1): 149-155.

Majumdar S, Grinnell S, Le Rouzic V, et al.: Truncated G protein- coupled mu opioid receptor MOR-1 splice variants are targets for highly potent opioid analgesics lacking side effects. Proc Natl Acad Sci. USA. 2011; 108: 19776-19783.

Lu Z, Xu J, Rossi GC, et al.: Mediation of opioid analgesia by a truncated 6-transmembrane GPCR. J Clin Invest. 2015; 215(7): 2626-2630.

Grinnell SG, Majumdar S, Narayan A, et al.: Pharmacologic characterization in the rat of a potent analgesic lacking respiratory depression, IBNtxA. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2014; 350(3): 710-718.

Lu Z, Xu J, Xu M, et al.: Truncated m-opioid receptors with 6 transmembrane domains are essential for opioid analgesia. Anesth Analg. 2018; 126(3): 1050-1057.

Pasternak GW, Carroll-Buatti M, Spiegel K: The binding and analgesic properties of a sigma opiate, SKF 10,047. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1981; 219(1): 192-198

Chien CC, Pasternak GW: Sigma antagonists potentiate opioid analgesia in rats. Neurosci Lett. 1995; 190(2): 137-139.

Spiegel K, Kalb R, Pasternak GW: Analgesic activity of tricyclic antidepressants. Ann Neurol. 1983; 13(4): 462-465.

Elliott K, Minami N, Kolesnikov YA, et al.: The NMDA receptor antagonists, LY274614 and MK-801, and the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine, attenuate analgesic tolerance to the mu-opioid morphine but not to kappa opioids. Pain. 1994; 56(1): 69-75.

Kim FJ, Kovalyshyn I, Burgman M, et al.: Sigma 1 receptor modulation of G-protein-coupled receptor signaling: Potentiation of opioid transduction independent from receptor binding. Mol Pharmacol. 2010; 77(4): 695-703.

Zelcer S, Kolesnikov Y, Kovalyshyn I, et al.: Selective potentiation of opioid analgesia by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Brain Res. 2005; 1040(1-2): 151-156.

Bolan EA, Tallarida RJ, Pasternak GW: Synergy between mu opioid ligands: Evidence for functional interactions among mu opioid receptor subtypes. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002; 303(2): 557-562.

Galer BS, Coyle N, Pasternak GW, et al.: Individual variability in the response to different opioids: Report of five cases. Pain. 1992; 49(1): 87-91.

Jeevendra Martyn JA, Mao J, Bittner EA: Opioid tolerance in critical illness. N Engl J Med. 2019; 380: 365-378.

Atigari DV, Uprety R, Pasternak GW, et al.: MP1104, a mixed kappa-delta opioid receptor agonist has anti-cocaine properties with reduced side-effects in rats. Neuropharmacology. 2019; Feb 13. Pii: S0028-3908. (Epub ahead of print)



  • There are currently no refbacks.
This site uses cookies to maintain session information critical to the user's experience and environment on this system. Click "Accept Cookies" to continue.
For more details please visit our privacy statement at: Privacy & GDPR