Stephen G. Waxman

Stephen G. Waxman is Bridget Flaherty Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology at Yale University, where he is also Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Regeneration Research. He is the author of Form and Function in the Brain and Spinal Cord (MIT Press) and other books.

  • Chasing Men on Fire

    Chasing Men on Fire

    The Story of the Search for a Pain Gene

    Stephen G. Waxman

    A thirty-year quest, from genes to pain-signaling neurons to people with a rare genetic disorder that makes them feel they are on fire.

    Two soldiers, both with wounds injuring the same nerve, show very different responses: one is disabled by neuropathic pain, unable to touch the injured limb because even the lightest contact triggers excruciating discomfort; the other notices numbness but no pain at all. Could the difference lie in their genes? In this book, described in the foreword by Nobel Laureate James Rothman as “so well written that it reads like a detective novel,” Stephen Waxman recounts the search for a gene that controls pain—a search spanning more than thirty years and three continents.  The story moves from genes to pain-signaling neurons that scream when they should be silent to people with a rare genetic disorder who feel they are on fire. Waxman explains that if pain-signaling neurons are injured by trauma or disease, they can become hyperactive and send pain signals to the brain even without external stimulus. Studying the hyperactive mutant pain gene in man on fire syndrome has pointed the way to molecules that produce pain more broadly within the general population, in the rest of us. Waxman's account of the many steps that led to discovery of the pain gene tells the story behind the science, of how science happens.

    • Hardcover $45.00
  • Form and Function in the Brain and Spinal Cord

    Form and Function in the Brain and Spinal Cord

    Perspectives of a Neurologist

    Stephen G. Waxman

    This book reflects Stephen Waxman's three decades of research on the form and functions of the brain and spinal cord. Building on his experience as a neuroscientist studying model systems as primitive as eels and as a neurologist studying humans, Waxman discusses a wide variety of topics, including the design principles that optimize neural function; molecular and cellular substrates of behavior; the role of glial cells in the brain; the molecular basis for pain; plasticity in the brain and spinal cord; strategies for promoting functional recovery in disorders such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and stroke; and prospects for rebuilding the brain and spinal cord. The pieces provide example after example of the elegance of design of the nervous system, of the intricate interplay between structure and function in health and disease, and of the rich borderland between neuroscience and neurology.

    • Hardcover $75.00
    • Paperback $55.00