Building on decades of Feinberg discovery

The limitations of available therapies for chronic pain result from major gaps in the understanding of fundamental mechanisms underlying this complex condition. There are no scientifically validated treatments available for chronic pain.

The Center for Translational Pain Research looks to accelerate and support the work being done in pain research at Northwestern by providing efficiencies through spaces and resources that will benefit our members.

We recently established a rodent behavioral core where we have already started studies regarding chronic pain and addictive or non-addictive drug exposure in models. In the near future, the center will establish a dedicated space to for clinical trials to serve the members already engaged in multiple clinical trials where efficacy and safety of novel treatments are being investigated.

Northwestern Advancements

Our center builds off the 20 years of discovery at Northwestern, including seminal contributions to the science of pain, especially for chronic pain.

Clinical Studies

Through these studies, center members have:
  • Developed neuroimaging methodology for noninvasively studying the properties of the human brain in pain
  • Demonstrated that brain properties provide critical insight into why some people, but not others, develop chronic pain
  • Showed that the human brain anatomy and physiology adapt to a new state with the development of chronic pain
  • Identified that emotion, learning, motivation and memory circuits in the brain are critically involved in chronic pain

Model Studies

Through these studies, center members have:

  • Identified circuits, receptors and cell types that undergo reorganization with chronic pain
  • Showed that specific brain neurons and circuits undergo morphological, synaptic and connectivity changes with transition to chronic pain
  • Such reorganization may be reversed by proper treatments

Translational Studies

The parallel human and model studies have in turn led to advancing the pharmacology of pain. Our members are currently engaged in three novel pharmacological treatments, seeking to:

  • Better control chronic pain with a novel non-addictive drug
  • Block transition from acute to chronic pain with a novel combination drug therapy
  • Treat chronic pain with a epigenetic drug treatment