Dr. Robbins has particular interest in the role that stress plays in exacerbating chronic visceral pain syndromes, specifically pain related to the urinary bladder. Her research has identified a specific neuropeptide, urocortin 2, and hormone, oxytocin that modulates stress-induced bladder hypersensitivity. Using rodent models, she is currently investigating the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. Dr. Robbins has also begun a clinical study to determine the effectiveness of intranasal oxytocin in alleviating the pain and/or stress associated with interstitial cystitis in a group of individuals suffering from this chronic pain condition.
Dr. Robbins graduated with a B.S. in biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She obtained her Ph.D. through the Behavioral Neuroscience graduate program in the Department of Psychology at UAB and received postdoctoral training in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland. She returned to UAB to complete a second postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Anesthesiology and subsequently joined the faculty.
Dr. Robbins is a member of the International Association for the Study of Pain, Society for Neuroscience and American Pain Society.