You are here


PRF Scientific Advisory Board

PRF Webinar Advisory Panel


PRF Scientific Advisory Board

Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Dr Med Sci., PhD, is a full professor in translational pain research, founder, and director of the international Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI), Aalborg University, Denmark. He is also founder and director of R&D at the clinical trial unit C4Pain. He has published more than 840 peer-reviewed journal papers on experimental and clinical assessment of pain and on the application of human pain biomarkers in drug development. His research focuses on 1) translational pain, 2) experimental methods for the assessment of pain from skin, muscles and viscera in healthy volunteers and chronic pain patients, 3) development of human pain biomarkers for screening of new analgesic compounds in humans (volunteers and patients), and 4) proof-of-concept and target validation studies on new treatment options. He has delivered more than 240 keynote lectures at international conferences, and has co-edited four IASP books. He has served on the IASP Council, as co-chair of the IASP Global Year Against Musculoskeletal Pain in 2010, co-chair for the IASP Global Year Against Joint Pain in 2016, and editor in chief for IASP Press. He is also chair of IASP’s Special Interest Group on Musculoskeletal Pain. In 2007, he was knighted by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark for his contribution to science.

Allan Basbaum, PhD, FRS, is a professor and chair of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco, US, and holds a joint appointment in physiology. His research concerns the transmission and control of pain messages and the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of persistent pain after tissue or nerve injury. Dr. Basbaum is the immediate past editor-in-chief of Pain, the journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). He is a recipient of the Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award from the American Pain Society and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Prize for Distinguished Pain Research. Dr. Basbaum is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and the British Academy of Medical Science. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society in the UK. 

David Bennett, MB, PhD, is professor of neurology at the University of Oxford and a consultant neurologist at Oxford University Hospitals in the UK. He is also a Wellcome Trust senior clinical scientist fellow. He has a longstanding interest in the role of trophic factors in mediating plasticity of the sensory nervous system. His current focus is to understand the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain and to develop novel therapeutics. Dr. Bennett takes a translational approach ranging from cell-based models, to human pain models, to patients with chronic pain. He administers a neuropathic pain clinic based at Oxford University Hospitals and receives national referrals for painful channelopathies. He is a member of the London Pain Consortium and is vice-director of Europain, a collaboration of scientists working in academia and industry that is funded by the European Union’s Innovative Medicines Initiative.

M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, is Scientific Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the US National Institutes of Health, where she oversees a program on the brain’s role in perceiving, modifying, and managing pain. Prior to her appointment at NCCAM in 2012, Dr. Bushnell was the Harold Griffith Professor of Anesthesia at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She has been president of the Canadian Pain Society, and press editor-in-chief of IASP. Among her other honors are the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Pain Society and the Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award from the American Pain Society. Her research interests include forebrain mechanisms of pain processing, psychological modulation of pain, and neural alterations in chronic pain patients. Recent projects have utilized brain imaging and psychophysical testing to study the neural basis of pain processing, addressing both normal pain processing and aberrant processing after nervous system damage.

Christine Chambers, PhD, RPsych, is the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Children’s Pain and a professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her research lab is based in the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research at the IWK Health Centre. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers on the role of developmental, psychological, and social influences on children’s pain, with a current research focus on the role of families in pediatric pain and social media for health knowledge mobilization. She is the 2016 recipient of the American Pain Society’s Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children’s Pain Relief and the Canadian Pain Society & Canadian Pain Coalition’s Pain Awareness Award.

Howard Fields, MD, PhD, is a professor of neurology and physiology and director of the Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction at the University of California, San Francisco, US (UCSF). Dr. Fields was a founder of the UCSF Pain Management Center and has made major contributions to understanding and treating postherpetic neuralgia, including demonstrating the effectiveness of opioids and topical lidocaine for neuropathic pain. In laboratory studies he discovered a pain-modulating neural circuit that engages endogenous opioids and is activated by opioid analgesics. His group also discovered that pain relief from placebo administration can be blocked by an opioid antagonist, opening the way to a neurobiological explanation of placebo analgesia. His recent work has centered on the problem of addiction. His team has discovered nerve cells in the striatum that selectively encode the magnitude of a reward, and has shown how opioid control of the neurotransmitter dopamine contributes to motivation and reward-based choice. Dr. Fields is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kathleen Foley, MD, is an attending neurologist in pain and palliative care at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, US, and holds the Chair of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Pain Research. She is also a professor of neurology, neuroscience, and clinical pharmacology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. For over a decade she has also served as medical director of the International Palliative Care Initiative at the Open Society Foundations. Throughout her career, Dr. Foley has pioneered the assessment, treatment, and support of patients with cancer pain, and has worked with governments and organizations around the world to develop pain and palliative care initiatives and policies. In 2013 she was awarded the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor. Dr. Foley is a past president of the American Pain Society and a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Ru-Rong Ji, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor and chief of pain research at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, US. Previously he was an associate professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, US. His research focuses on how glial cells and neuroinflammation are involved in the pathogenesis of neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Dr. Ji is well known for his contributions to understanding the roles of MAP kinase signaling in chronic pain, and recently he and his colleagues demonstrated analgesic effects from the inflammation-resolving lipid mediators resolvins and neuroprotectins.

Eija Kalso, MD, DMedSci, is the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Professor of Pain Medicine at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She is the immediate past president of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Dr. Kalso has also been the field editor for clinical science at Pain, the journal of IASP, and at the European Journal of Pain. Dr. Kalso is trained in anesthesiology and also received special competence in pain management. Her main research interests include opioid pharmacology, spinal mechanisms of nociception, cancer pain, clinical trial design and evidence-based medicine, persistent postsurgical pain, and the genetics of pain. She currently coordinates the European Union FP7 project GLORIA, which focuses on the role of glia in various types of pain and in opioid tolerance and hyperalgesia, including two different lines of drug development.

Joseph Martin, MD, PhD, is the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, US. From 1997 to 2007, Dr. Martin served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard, where he played a key role in establishing structures to cultivate collaboration among basic scientists and clinicians, including the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center (of which the Pain Research Forum is one project). Before moving to Harvard, Dr. Martin served as Dean of the School of Medicine and Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, US, where he established the W. M. Keck Foundation Center for Integrative Neurosciences. He was previously on the medical faculty at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and was chief of the neurology service at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Martin is the recipient of numerous honors for his contributions to medical education and research, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Jeffrey Mogil, PhD, is the E. P. Taylor Professor of Pain Studies and the Canada Research Chair in the Genetics of Pain at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has made seminal contributions to the field of pain genetics and has written many reviews on the subject. He is the editor of The Genetics of Pain (IASP Press, 2004). Dr. Mogil also studies sex differences in pain and analgesia and is known for developing pain testing methods in the laboratory mouse. He is the neurobiology section editor for the journal Pain and was chair of the scientific program committee of the 2010 13th World Congress on Pain. Dr. Mogil is a recipient of the Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award from IASP, and in 2013 he won the Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award from the American Pain Society.

Anne Louise Oaklander, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and an assistant in pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, US, where she attends for the neurology service and directs the nerve injury unit and the neurodiagnostic skin biopsy service. She also directs a research laboratory that characterizes neurological disorders resulting in chronic pain and itch. Dr. Oaklander is known for discoveries on postherpetic neuralgia and pruritis after shingles. Her group was among the first to identify nerve injuries in patients with complex regional pain syndrome type I and has developed and characterized a rodent model of CRPS-I. Dr. Oaklander also studies small-fiber polyneuropathies, particularly those that affect children or are autoimmune-mediated.

Frank Porreca, PhD, is a professor of pharmacology and anesthesiology at the University of Arizona, Tucson, US. Dr. Porreca is interested in approaches that may allow measurement and mechanistic evaluation of affective dimensions of pain in animal models. His research focuses on the role of descending modulatory circuits in chronic pain states, the mechanisms by which opioids and stress engage these circuits, and the discovery of molecules that can modulate these circuits through novel mechanisms. Recently he has worked on understanding intersections between pain and reward pathways. He and his lab are particularly well known for developing conditioned place preference experiments—based on the principle that animals will seek relief from an aversive state such as pain—to unmask spontaneous, or ongoing, pain in animal models. Dr. Porreca has received numerous awards including the Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award from the American Pain Society, and he is active in organizing scientific meetings devoted to pain research.

Theodore (Ted) Price, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas, US. Previously he was an associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Arizona, Tucson, US. Dr. Price pursues a wide range of studies on the molecular mechanisms that underlie chronic pain. In the peripheral nervous system, he pioneered investigations into how local translation in the axonal compartment of nociceptors contributes to the development of chronic pain. His lab also focuses on central mechanisms that are responsible for the maintenance of chronic pain states including migraine headache. He is the pharmacology section editor for the European Journal of Pain, and he previously served as co-chair of the Basic Science Special Interest Group of the American Pain Society. In 2014, he won the Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award for Basic Science from IASP.

Claudia Sommer, MD, is a professor of neurology at the University of Würzburg, Germany. She received training in psychiatry, neuropathology, experimental anesthesia, and neurology. At the University of Würzburg, she serves as a consultant in neurology, organizes an outpatient clinic for patients with pain, and leads the Peripheral Nerve Laboratory. With her research group, she investigates the role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of pain, the improvement and standardization of diagnostics in neuropathies, and the pathophysiology of antibody-mediated diseases. Dr. Sommer is active in the development of national and international guidelines on treatment of peripheral neuropathies, on nerve and skin biopsies, and on treatment of fibromyalgia and neuropathic and facial pain.

Judith Turner, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, US. She is president of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), and is a clinical psychologist working with patients in the University of Washington multidisciplinary pain center. She has a long-standing interest in evaluating the effectiveness of various psychological, medical, and surgical treatments for chronic pain, as well as in identifying factors that predict and mediate outcomes of these treatments. Her current research interests also include opioid therapy for chronic pain. She has received the Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award from the American Pain Society and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine prize for clinical pain research.

Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD, is director of the F. M. Kirby Neurobiology Center and the Program in Neurobiology at Boston Children’s Hospital, US, a professor of neurology and neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, and a faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. His pain research focuses on understanding basic mechanisms and translating the results into new therapeutics and diagnostics. He discovered central sensitization and showed that nerve growth factor plays a role in inflammatory pain. His current work includes human, mouse, and Drosophila genetics, stem cell biology, and a strategy for silencing pain fibers to relieve pain. Dr. Woolf is also a serial innovator, holding 15 patents, patent applications, and licenses for technological innovations in pain management, and he serves as a consultant and advisory board member for several biotechnology firms and drug companies.

We thank our 2012–2013 Scientific Advisory Board members Marshall Devor, PhDChristopher Eccleston, PhDRohini Kuner, PhDStephen McMahon, PhD, and William Schmidt, PhD. Their guidance helped grow PRF into the thriving web community it is today.


PRF Webinar Advisory Panel (for PRF webinar series "Challenges in Drug Development")

Chas Bountra, PhD, is Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) Oxford chief scientist, and professor of translational medicine in the Nuffield department of clinical medicine and associate member of the department of pharmacology at the University of Oxford, UK. He is also a visiting professor in neuroscience and mental health at Imperial College, London, UK. Prior to coming back to Oxford six years ago, Chas was vice president and head of biology at GlaxoSmithKline, where he was involved in the identification of clinical candidates for many gastrointestinal, inflammatory and neuropsychiatric diseases. His current interests are 1) using X ray structures of novel human proteins to generate small molecule inhibitors, screening in human cells to identify novel targets for drug discovery, and then developing clinical candidates for evaluation in patients, pre-competitively 2) focusing on epigenetic and genetically identified proteins, because these are likely to represent better targets for drug discovery, for many cancer, inflammatory, metabolic and neuropsychiatric diseases 3) working with colleagues in Oxford to build major programmes in rare diseases and  in Alzheimer’s disease, and creating a “BioEscalator” for the rapid translation of SGC science and 4) building stronger links with local hospitals, patient groups, regulatory agencies, private investors, contract research organizations, biotechs and large pharma companies, to create a new, more efficient ecosystem for pioneer drug discovery.

Iain Chessell, PhD, is vice president, R&D, neuroscience at MedImmune, Cambridge, UK. He joined MedImmune in November 2008 as vice president, research, neuroscience. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing MedImmune’s preclinical programs, including those targeting pain, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Subsequently, he took on the role of head of the Centre of Excellence for Neuroscience, and expanded his responsibilities to include both discovery and clinical development activities within the neuroscience portfolio. His role in the new neuroscience IMED organization includes these responsibilities as well as leading the Cambridge, UK, part of the IMED organization. Prior to joining MedImmune, Dr. Chessell was chief executive officer at NeuroDiscovery where he completed a number of phase 1 and phase 2 clinical programs. Previously, Dr. Chessell was therapy area head for analgesia at GlaxoSmithKline, where he delivered multiple clinical candidates and was involved in clinical development projects from phase 1 to phase 3. He was also chair of the core disease teams for pain and neurodegeneration, and served as chair of the Neurology Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD) management team. Dr. Chessell also managed several high profile academic and industrial collaborations.

Carole Ho, MD, is a senior group medical director at Genentech, South San Francisco, US. In this role, she heads an early clinical development group of medical directors responsible for clinical programs in the therapeutic areas of neurology, respiratory, ophthalmology, and infectious disease from pre-IND filing to phase 2 proof of concept. Carole received her bachelor of science (magna cum laude) in biochemical sciences from Harvard College, Cambridge, US, and her medical degree (with honors in research) from Cornell University, New York, US. During her medical school training, Carole was a Howard Hughes Fellow at the Center for Neurologic Disease at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, US. She completed her medical internship and neurology residency at Harvard Medical School, Boston, US, where she served as chief resident of neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After completing her neurology training, Carole was an instructor in neurology at Stanford University, US, from 2002 to 2007 before moving to industry.   

Charles Inturrisi, PhD, is professor of pharmacology, Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), New York, US. He also has appointments in the neuroscience program at WCMC, the pain and palliative care service of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, US, and the drug abuse center at The Rockefeller University, New York, US.  For his current research, Dr. Inturrisi is measuring the long-term outcomes of treatments for chronic cancer and noncancer pain received by patients at four hospital-based outpatient pain clinics. He continues to have an interest in the role of glutamate receptors in injury-induced pain and opioid tolerance, dependence and addictive behaviors. His research is directed at the discovery of new treatments for pain and drug addiction. Dr. Inturrisi served as the president of the American Pain Society from 2008 to 2010. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine committee that prepared the 2011 Report entitled “Relieving Pain in America.”

Stephen McMahon, PhD, is the Sherrington Professor of Physiology at King’s College London in the UK. He works to understand pain mechanisms using techniques ranging from molecular biology to electrophysiology to human psychophysical studies. He has a longstanding interest in the role and potential therapeutic applications of trophic factors. His current research is focused on neuroimmune interactions and the genetics and epigenetics of pain. Dr. McMahon directs the London Pain Consortium, a collection of researchers in London and Oxford working to better understand chronic pain mechanisms and improve treatments. He is also the academic leader of Europain, a collaboration of scientists working in academia and industry that is funded by the European Union’s Innovative Medicines Initiative. Dr. McMahon is editor of Wall and Melzack’s Textbook of Pain, 5th edition and 6th edition. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Joseph V. Pergolizzi, Jr., MD, is chief operating officer of NEMA Research, Naples, Florida, US; an adjunct assistant professor in the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, US; former adjunct faculty member in the department of anesthesiology and pain medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, US; and a former adjunct associate professor in the department of pharmacology at Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, US. He is also a steering committee member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Safe Use Initiative and has acted as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Pergolizzi is an internationally recognized expert in clinical research, pain medicine, anesthesia, internal medicine, pharmacology, regulatory affairs and drug discovery. He integrates new technologies into everyday clinical practice, and has been investigating the effectiveness, safety, and utility of various interventions for patients with acute and chronic pain for several years. 


Robert B. Raffa, PhD, is professor of pharmacology at Temple University School of Pharmacy and research professor at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, US. He received his doctorate in pharmacology from Temple University Medical School and also holds master’s degrees in biomedical engineering and toxicology from Drexel University and Thomas Jefferson University, respectively, and bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and psychology from the University of Delaware. Dr. Raffa was research fellow and co-team leader in analgesics drug discovery at Johnson & Johnson and is co-holder of several patents, including combination of tramadol with acetaminophen. He has co-authored or edited several books and has published over 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is co-editor of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. Dr. Raffa is a past president of the Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society and is the recipient of the Hofmann Research Award, Lindback Teaching Award, and several other honors. He consults worldwide on analgesics and analgesic combinations.

William Schmidt, PhD, is president of NorthStar Consulting, Davis, California, US, which provides advice on preclinical and clinical studies of novel analgesic drugs. He is also part-time vice president of clinical and regulatory for CapGenesis LLC in Fairfax, Virginia, US, for Centrexion Corporation in Baltimore, US, and for EicOsis, LLC, in Davis, California, US, all of which are involved in analgesic drug development. Dr. Schmidt previously worked in drug development and clinical research at biotech and pharmaceutical companies including DuPont Merck, Limerick BioPharma, Renovis, and Adolor (US companies) and CrystalGenomics (Seoul, Korea). At Adolor, Dr. Schmidt was a key member of the team that developed Entereg (alvimopan), a peripherally-acting opioid antagonist. Dr. Schmidt is a scientific consultant to numerous companies around the world and sits on the advisory boards of one academic laboratory and four biotech companies. He is the co-editor of Pain: Current Understanding, Emerging Therapies, and Novel Approaches to Drug Discovery.