Plenarist

Dr. Irina Vetter

Prof. Vetter is the Director of the Centre for Pain Research at the University of Queensland. She obtained her PhD in 2007 from the School of Pharmacy, UQ, and conducted studies as a National Health and Medical Research postdoctoral fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute and at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience in the areas of axon guidance and venom peptide pharmacology. She is a recipient of an International Association for the Study of Pain Patrick Wall Young Investigator Award (2018) and has a strong background in neuropharmacology, pain models, toxinology and high-throughput screening. Her current main research interests lie…

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Prof. Maree T Smith

Maree Smith AC, is Emeritus Professor and Director of the Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development (CIPDD) in the School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Queensland. Internationally, she is a leading researcher in biomedical discovery/translation with particular expertise in the novel pain therapeutics field. She is inventor on a patented novel analgesic technology that was licensed to the UQ spin-out company, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, for commercialization and acquired by Novartis in 2015. Although her focus is on IP-sensitive research, she has maintained an excellent publication output, with >180 publications to date. She has also advised/co-advised 33 PhD students and…

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Prof. Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Dr. Pillai Riddell is the Director of the Opportunities to Understand Childhood Hurt Laboratory or The OUCH Lab (www.yorku.ca/ouchlab). As both a basic behavioural scientist and a clinician-scientist, Dr. Pillai Riddell leads a transdisciplinary research program in infant and young child pain that is funded by all three national Canadian research councils (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council). Her research sets out to better understand the biological, psychological, and social mechanisms subsuming the development of pain responses in young children. Pillai Riddell is a member of the Royal Society…

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Professor Michael K Nicholas

Dr. Michael Nicholas is a Clinical Psychologist and the Director of Pain Education at the Pain Management Research Institute, and Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health (Northern) at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, where he directs online post-graduate courses in pain management for all health disciplines. He also directs several multidisciplinary pain management programs at the hospital, where he maintains an active clinical role. Since completing his PhD on the evaluation of cognitive-behavioural treatments for chronic low back pain in 1988, he has established a national and international reputation for his work in pain management. He…

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Professor Edmund Keogh

Ed Keogh is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology, and Deputy Director of the Bath Centre for Pain Research, at the University of Bath, UK. He gained his PhD in 1997 where he explored the effects of anxiety on attention. Following a lectureship post in London, he moved to Bath in 2003, and was promoted to Professor in 2017. Ed’s researches the psychology of pain, with a focus on attentional process, and sex and gender differences. Recent interests are on the gender context of pain, and how interpersonal interactions shape men and women’s pain. Ed draws on methods…

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Michaela Kress

Michaela Kress is full professor at the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Physics Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria. Her research focus is on hub regulators of neuroimmune crosstalk in the nervous system and specifically in the pain pathway. These are explored by integrating multiple methodological approaches ranging from behavior phenotyping to expression analysis and electrophysiological recordings from peripheral nerve and from neuronal networks in the brain. Recently the team became interested in non-coding RNAs and their role as hub regulators in the pain system. In particular, the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 and its signal transducer Il-6/gp130 are investigated, and novel…

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Prof. Thomas Graven-Nielsen

Thomas Graven-Nielsen acquired his PhD within Biomedical Science and Engineering in 1997 (Aalborg University, Denmark). In 2006 he obtained a Doctoral degree in Medical Science (DMSc, Copenhagen University). He is Director at Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP), Aalborg University, Denmark (since 2015), and Full Professor in Pain Neuroscience since 2008. The Danish National Research Foundation funds CNAP. The research focuses on translational studies of musculoskeletal pain bridging the gap between basic animal findings and clinical manifestations of pain. The scope is to identify and modulate key features of human pain neuroplasticity leading to prevention of maladaptive neuroplasticity and promote…

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Dr. Luda Andre Diatchenko

Luda Diatchenko, MD, PhD is a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Human Pain Genetics, at McGill University, Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain. She earned her MD and PhD in the field of Molecular Biology from the Russian State Medical University. Her research is focused on determining the cellular and molecular biological mechanisms by which functional genetic variations impact human pain perception and risk of development of chronic pain conditions, enabling new approaches to identify new drug targets, treatment responses to analgesics, and diagnostic.

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Prof. Patrik Ernfors

Patrik Ernfors is a professor at Tissue Biology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet. He is also a member of the Nobel Assembly. He and his group have profound studies on chronic pain.

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Isaac Chiu

Isaac Chiu is Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Immunology. Dr. Chiu’s central research focus is neuro-immune interactions in pain and host defense. He has found that nociceptor neurons directly detect bacterial pathogens and their secreted toxins to produce pain. These neurons signal to innate immune and epithelial cells in the skin and gut to mediate barrier immune responses. Defining neuroimmune signaling could lead to new treatments for pain and infection. Dr. Chiu did his PhD work in Immunology at Harvard Medical School and his postdoctoral training in the neurobiology of pain at Boston Children’s Hospital. He…

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