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Introducing Our New Bimonthly Newsletter

UMB's Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research (CACPR) has worked over the past few decades to incorporate cutting-edge research into practice for pain management and treatment therapies. As CACPR continues to grow and evolve, we are delighted to be launching a bimonthly newsletter that will bring you, our audience, the latest news and updates from both our own research and practice, as well as from the field at large.

CACPR is a leader in chronic pain research. Not only do our faculty members' publications in peer-reviewed journals prove that, but also our abilities to convene others around this important area of medicine speak for themselves.

Our fourth annual symposium this past fall served to cement our connections to leading interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, whose work one way or another touches the continuing challenge that chronic pain poses to over 100 million Americans — and many more globally.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback on this initial newsletter, and look forward to sharing with you our insights in a few short months.
Susan G. Dorsey, PhD, RN, FAAN
Joel Greenspan, PhD
CACPR Co-Directors
CACPR's Fourth Annual Symposium
On Nov. 30, 2018, CACPR hosted its fourth annual symposium. The theme was " How precision health will inform pain management."

The daylong event featured a presentation by Linda R. Watkins, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado-Boulder. Dr. Watkins is also the co-chair and co-founder of the scientific advisory board at Xalud Therapeutics.

Dr. Watkins' presentation, titled " Targeted Anti-Inflammatory Gene Therapy to Treat Neuropathic and Osteoarthritis Chronic Pain: From Basic Science to Ongoing Human Clinical Trials," highlighted the growing evidence that both immune and glial cells are relevant non-neuronal "players in pain" that will ultimately inform precision health applications.

Selected New Publications
Below are links to recent publications from CACPR researchers (in alphabetical order by last name):


Precision Health: Use of Omics to Optimize Self-Management of Chronic Pain in Aging . Dorsey SG, Resnick BM, Renn CL. Res Gerontol Nurs. 2018 Jan 1;11(1):7-13. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20171128-01.


Bai, G & Ren, K. (Nov 1, 2018) Epigenetic tools in chronic pain studies ,   Epigenetics of Chronic Pain , G. Bai, Ren, K. Edited, 2018. Elsevier/Academic Press.

Ren, K & Bai, G. (Nov 1, 2018) An overview of epigenetic correlates of human chronic pain conditions Epigenetics of Chronic Pain , G. Bai, Ren, K. Edited, 2018. Elsevier/Academic Press.   


Fillingim RB, Slade GD, Greenspan JD, Dubner R, Maixner W, Bair E, Ohrbach R. Long-term changes in biopsychosocial characteristics related to temporomandibular disorder: findings from the OPPERA study . Pain. 2018 Nov;159(11):2403-2413. PubMed PMID: 30028791

Smith SB, Parisien M, Bair E, Belfer I ... Greenspan JD, et al. Genome-wide association reveals contribution of MRAS to painful temporomandibular disorder in males Pain . 2018 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30431558.


Njie-Carr, V., Jones-Parker, H., Massey, C., Baker, D., & Nganga-Good, C.  ( 2018). Leveraging community engagement in the development of a health application for older women with HIV infection Journal of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing .


Rossettini G, Palese A, Geri T, Fiorio M, Colloca L, Testa M. Physical
therapists' perspectives on using contextual factors in clinical practice: Findings from an Italian national survey . PLoS One. 2018 Nov 30;13(11):e0208159. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208159. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30500838.


Ji, Y., Hu, B., Li, J., Traub, R.J. Opposing roles of estradiol and testosterone on stress-induced visceral hypersensitivity in rats . J Pain. 2018 Jul;19(7):764-776. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.02.007. Epub 2018 Mar 2. PMID: 29496640.


CACPR Member Spotlight
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Neural and Pain Sciences
University of Maryland School of Dentistry

What’s the underlying theme of your research?

An estimated 30 percent of Americans live with chronic pain (pain lasting more than 12 weeks). Quite commonly, people suffer with multiple type of chronic pain.  This is recognized as Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs), largely involving 10 pain syndromes including temporomandibular disorder (TMD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine headaches, fibromyalgia and lower back pain. These conditions may have no obvious organic pathology or associated disease process. Most of these conditions are more common in women, are exacerbated by stress and are notoriously difficult to treat (treating one could make another worse).

My lab is interested in learning what drives the occurrence of multiple conditions. What are the underlying mechanisms in developing these conditions that contribute to increased pain sensitivity and, once identified, how can we better treat these patients/conditions? Over the past 30 years I have been studying visceral pain, focusing on sex differences (why women feel pain differently from men), and the role of hormones such as estrogen. Most recently we have been adding the effects of stress into our studies.

What do you like to do outside of work?

“When away from work I like woodworking (Adirondack chairs, book cases, etc.), and hiking with my wife and dog. We also spend a lot of time personalizing our new house.”

In 1996, UMB recognized the importance of chronic pain as a significant health problem and established the Organized Research Center (ORC) for Persistent Pain in the School of Dentistry (SOD).

In its June 2011 report, “Relieving Pain in America,” the Institute of Medicine documented that at least 100 million U.S. adults suffer from common chronic pain conditions, with national annual costs and lost productivity estimated to be in the range of $560 billion to $635 billion. In recognition of this greater need, UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, established the Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research as a Universitywide organized research center.