pain

The Pain Research Challenge:
2020 Awardees

AtTACC Pain


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2020

Brief Description: Chronic pain is a common symptom of cancer and treatment, often persisting into survivorship. This study works to uncover the physiological, psychological, and sociological factors involved in the transition from acute to chronic cancer pain.

Team: Hailey Bulls, PhD, Jessica Merlin, MD, PhD, Susan Dorsey, PhD, Brad Taylor, PhD

CRISPR-epigenetic therapeutics for pain management


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2020

Brief Description: CRISPR-based therapeutic tools to epigenetically control genes involved in pain, a strategy that is reliant on transient modulation of gene expression without permanent change in DNA code.

Team: Samira Kiani, MD, Mo Ebrahimkhani, MD

Wearable Low Back Pain Monitor for EMA


$50,000 Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2020

Brief Description: Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is increasing, while current interventions fail to provide relief. This system provides cLBP control that is personalized, interactive, compliant, and opioid-free.

Team: Kevin Bell, PhD, Marit Johnson, PT, PhD, Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD, William (Buddy) Clark, PhD, Bambang Parmanto, PhD

The Pain Research Challenge:
Past Awardees

Predicting Analgesia with a Brain Biomarker


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2019

Brief Description: Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy as a brain imaging modality to detect pain relief and identify a functional biomarker of analgesia.

Team: Benedict Alter, MD, PhD, Hendrick Santosa, PhD, Ajay Wasan, MD, MSc, Ted Huppert, PhD

Preventing Suicide in Homeless Youth


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2019

Brief Description: Evaluating the acceptability and effectiveness of an adapted Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills training program for reducing suicide ideation and risk, and increasing coping skills use, in homeless and housing unstable youth. 

Team: Carla Chugani, PhD, LPC, Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD, Chris McAneny

Tissue Chip Modeling of Osteoarthritis Pain


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2019

Brief Description: Developing a human cell-derived and neural component-containing microphysiological joint tissue chip, and use it to study the mechanism of osteoarthritis pain and facilitate drug screening. 

Team: Hang Lin, PhD, Michael Gold, PhD

Big Data Analytics for Treatment Decision-Making


$75,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2018

Brief Description: Analyzing a continuously updated treatment registry to match the right patient to the right treatment in real time.

Team Members: Ajay D. Wasan, MD, Jong-Hyeon Jeong, PhD, Andrea Gillman, PhD, & Di Zhang

Ketamine to Reduce the Burden of Postpartum Pain


$75,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2018

Brief Description: Comparing intraoperative ketamine infusion to placebo, among women presenting for cesarean delivery.

Team Members: Grace Lim, MD, MS, Steve Caritis, MD, Ajay Wasan, MD, Stacy Beck, MD, Raman Venkataramanan, PhD

Kappa Antagonists to Treat Pain


$75,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2017

Brief Description: A novel kappa opioid receptor antagonist to reduce both the aversive as well as the nociceptive components of pain.

Team Members: Benedict Kolber, PhD, Edita Navratilova, PhD,  Volker Neugebauer, MD, PhD,  Frank Porreca, PhD, Sarah Ross, PhD

Team Walking (MedExt)


$75,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2017

Brief Description: An integrative approach combining two known analgesic interventions (medication & exercise) in a novel interaction study to treat patients with chronic pain.

Team Members: Eric Helm, MD, Benedict Kobler, PhD, Matthew Kostek, PhD, Natalia Morone, MD, MS, Kim Szucs, PhD

COPE (Coaching Pain and PTSD Elimination)


$40,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2017

Brief Description: Early psychological intervention (PTSD Coach App) to help reduce post-injury maladapative psychological processes and thereby prevent post-injury chronic pain.

Team Members: Cliff Callaway, MD, PhD, Anne Germaine, PhD, Eric Kuhn, PhD, Maria Pacella, PhD, Brian Suffoletto, MD, MS

SADPain


$40,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2017

Brief Description: Studying the relationship between availability of marijuana at the local level and rates of opioid overdose deaths.

Team Members: Bridget Freisthler, PhD, Christina Mair, PhD

Mice with Comorbid Chronic Pain and Depression


$10,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2016

Brief Description: Comparing the effectiveness of two widely-utilized techniques for enhancing pain relief during labor and mitigating risk for postpartum depression.  

Team Members: Marianne Seney, PhD, Ajay Wasan, MD, Andrea Gillman, PhD

Pain Detect


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2016

Brief Description: Refinement of our brain imaging technique will provide an objective biomarker able to reflect the cognitive process of pain perception, facilitating improved understanding and treatment of pain.

Team Members: James Ibinson, MD, PhD, Ajay Wasan, MD, Christopher Becker, Keith Vogt, MD, PhD, John Hache, MD, Andrea Gillman, PhD

PerFasciitis


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2016

Brief Description: To treat chronic plantar fasciitis pain, we present a novel incisionless approach to perforating the plantar fascia and fill it with fat to allow elongation, regeneration, and pain elimination.

Team Members: Beth Gusenoff, DPM, Jeffery Gusenoff, MD

Reducing Pain’s Impact on Perinatal Depression


$50,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2016

Brief Descriptions: Pain during childbirth is related to risk for postpartum depression. Current epidural strategies ignore the potential utility of more aggressive pain management for mothers at risk for depression.

Team Members: Grace Lim, MD, MS, Ajay Wasan, MD, Patricia Dalby, MD

HeadTrack


$35,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2015

Brief Description: Continuously track potential environmental triggers and prodromal symptom activity in chronic migraineurs to better define the therapeutic window

Team Members: Kelly Beck, PhD, CRC, Lauren Terhorst, PhD, Carol Greco, PhD, Michael Gold, PhD, Michael McCue, PhD, Jenny Smith, Robert Kaniecki, MD

Expressive Painimation


$25,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2015

Brief Description: An application that allows patients to describe the quality and intensity of their pain using dynamic animations instead of traditional zero to 10 scale.

Team Members: Charles Jonassaint, PhD, Ajay Wasan, MD, Gregory Kato, MD, Zakia Hammal, PhD, Jude Jonassaint, RN

Understanding the Amplification of Pain


$25,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2015

Brief Description: A hallmark of chronic pain is that nociceptive input from the periphery becomes abnormally amplified in the spinal cord through wind-up. Our studies will provide novel mechanistic insight into wind-up.

Team Members: Sarah Ross, PhD, Junichi Hachisuka, MD, PhD, Lindsey Snyder, PhD

A Novel Twist on IBS Pain


$25,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2015

Brief Description: Over thirty million North Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome which takes a tremendous societal toll due to the absence of effective treatments for the pain associated with this disorder.

Team Members: Michael Gold, PhD, Joseph Glorioso, PhD

Sit Less for Less Back Pain


$25,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2015

Brief Description: In low back pain sufferers, breaking up prolonged sitting with a height adjustable desk and an activity monitor that prompts movement, may increase adherence to activity and decrease pain.

Team Members: Bethany Gibbs, PhD, John Jakicic, PhD, FACSM, Anthony Dilitto, PhD, PT, FAPTA, Andrea Hergenroeder, PT, PhD, CCS

TRIPOND-Z


$25,000 Award Awardee- Pain Research Challenge 2015

Brief Description: TRIgeminal pain and Ocular neurological disease models for varicella Zoster virus, which causes Shingles, post herpetic neuralgia and devastating blinding disease.

Team Members: Paul Kinchington, PhD, Phillip Kramer, William Goins, PhD, Jun-Ho La, PhD, DVM