Jacob Tyler Boyd

Graduate Student

Personal Statement:

M.D./Ph.D. IBMS Physiology and Pharmacology Discipline

Lab Association:
Kenneth Hargreaves, D.D.S, Ph.D.

Hobbies and Interests:
Wilderness Medicine, Home Renovation, Skiing, Sports


MA, Biological Anthropology
University of Kansas - Lawrence, Kansas

BA, Creative Writing
University of North Texas - Denton, Texas


Physicians recommend dietary interventions for management of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases; however, there is a large gap in knowledge on the role of diet as a risk factor or potential therapy for chronic pain. Management of pain remains a substantial medical problem, in part, because of an incomplete understanding of the physiologic mechanisms for transduction and processing of noxious stimuli. Moreover, current analgesics are often limited by incomplete efficacy, unacceptable side effects or risk of dependency. New discoveries for both the treatment and prevention of chronic pain are essential, and investigating the relationship between diet and pain allows for the potential development of new therapies along with a better understanding of the mechanisms of persistent pain. Multiple studies have demonstrated that oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid (LA) or arachidonic acid (AA) have potent biological actions in activating transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, including TRPV1 and TRPA1, that are expressed on nociceptive neurons. Since LA and AA are essential omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), their physiologic levels are a function of dietary intake. Preliminary data presented in this application demonstrate that mice fed a 15- week high omega-6 diet exhibit changes in basal thermal and mechanical nociceptive thresholds and increased responses to noxious stimuli. However, there is still a large gap in knowledge as the mechanisms by which dietary omega-6 lipid intake modulate pain is not understood. Based on recent studies and our preliminary data, we propose to test the central hypothesis that increased dietary omega-6 PUFA leads to increased thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia via increased TRPV1 and TRPA1 activities. Diet-induced increased TRPV1 and TRPA1 activity could be a common mechanism among multiple chronic pain conditions and play a role in the transition from acute to chronic pain.

Awards & Accomplishments

• Accomplishments, Awards and Honors •

George W. Brackenridge MD/PhD Endowed Scholar – 2014-2016

Carol Clark Graduate Student Research Award – Fall 2011 and Spring 2012

• Certifications and Training •

Advanced Wilderness Life Support Certification — Summer 2016

Transthoracic Echocardiogram Training — Spring 2016


• Lectures, Posters and Presentations •

Annual UTHSCSA MD/PhD Meeting – San Antonio, TX. – March 2015
Boyd JT, Sayre NM, Lechleiter – Delayed Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury with a Purinergic Ligand (Poster)

American Association of Physical Anthropology Annual Meeting – Portland, OR – April 2012
Boyd JT, Mielke J. – Seasonality of Infectious Disease in Aland, Finland (Poster)


• Appointments, Boards, Committees and Memberships •

Society for Neuroscience – 2016-Present

International Association for the Study of Pain – 2016-Present

American Society of Anesthesiologists – 2015-Present

American Medical Association – 2014-Present

Texas Medical Association – 2014-Present

Bexar County Medical Society – 2014-Present