Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Thomas J Schnitzer, MD, PhD

Thomas J Schnitzer, MD, PhD

Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Medicine (Rheumatology)

Focus of Work

Bio

Research activities of our group focus on two major clinical areas: musculoskeletal pain and bone. In collaboration with Dr. A. Vania Apkarian in the Department of Physiology, our pain research focuses on understanding the basis for pain chronification, utilizing brain imaging and psychophysical methodologies. Current NIH-funded studies are evaluating the transition that occurs in individuals who progress from acute to chronic pain and attempting to modulate this by pharmacologic interventions...[Read full text]Research activities of our group focus on two major clinical areas: musculoskeletal pain and bone. In collaboration with Dr. A. Vania Apkarian in the Department of Physiology, our pain research focuses on understanding the basis for pain chronification, utilizing brain imaging and psychophysical methodologies. Current NIH-funded studies are evaluating the transition that occurs in individuals who progress from acute to chronic pain and attempting to modulate this by pharmacologic interventions. On a more applied level, the development and characterization of analgesic agents for the management of chronic musculoskeleletal pain has been a major focus for over the past decade. We have helped design and implement phase 2 studies of many of the major classes of drugs currently in use, including NSAIDs, cox-2 selective inhibitors, opioids, topical analgesic agents and novel approaches to pain including antibodies to NGF (nerve growth factor) and other agents active on the peripheral nervous system.

Bone loss is known to be a major problem for individuals with disabilities, particularly those who are not able to ambulate or bear weight normally. Our group has initiated studies aimed at treating patients with acute spinal cord injury to attempt to maintain bone mass during their immediate post-injury period. In those individuals with SCI who have already lost significant bone mass, we have undertaken a second set of studies aimed at evaluating approaches to increase bone mass in these individuals, using physical and pharmacological interventions as well as attempting to assess the interaction between bone and the metabolic status of these individuals.[Shorten text]

Keywords


Education and Certification

  • MD: Harvard Medical School (1971)
  • PhD: Council for National Academic Awards, Molecular Virology (1979)
  • Internship: Johns Hopkins Hospital (1972)
  • Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital (1973)
  • Fellowship: MRC Rheumatology Unit, UK (1976)
  • Board Certification: Internal Medicine, Rheumatology