Congratulations to UW Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine Student, Abby Chiu, BS, HIPRC Core Faculty Member, Michele Curatolo, MD, PhD, and his study team for receiving the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long TermSM (HEAL) Initiative award. The grant will fund a new Clinical Pain Research Training Program that coincides with Dr. Curatolo’s study, titled: “Human Nociceptor and Spinal Cord Molecular Signature Center.” This award is intended to allow exceptional graduate, post-doctoral (e.g., MD, DO, DDS, PhD), or early career individuals (hereafter “candidates”) to expand their clinical pain research experience and gain access to the tools and skills needed to prepare them for a career in clinical pain research.
Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Current treatments are mostly ineffective. The proposed project aims to use RNA-seq techniques with cellular resolution on nerve, joint, muscle, and fascia tissues from thoroughly-phenotyped individuals with CLBP undergoing spine surgery. Central hypothesis: transcriptional changes in nerves and pathological tissues drive human CLBP. We will test this hypothesis by applying single cell RNA-seq to tissues of thoroughly characterized patients with CLBP.
Administrative Supplement. We will offer a structured, milestone-based training in clinical pain research. All study procedures except RNA-seq (not part of the training program) will take place at the University of Washington. The candidate will interact with study patients in all phases of the study procedures.
Aim 1: Learn clinical phenotyping of patients with pain. Aim 2: Learn somatosensory phenotyping of patients with pain. Aim 3: Learn how to design, implement, and analyze clinical pain studies. Aim 4: Learn how to disseminate research results via abstracts, posters, and manuscripts.
The NIH Helping to End Addiction Long TermSM (HEAL) Initiative aims to improve our understanding, management, and treatment of pain by funding high quality scientific research in this relatively understudied area of medicine. The goal of the parent award is to create the scientific foundation that will empower pain researchers around the world to approach the problem of treating pain in a new way, deeply rooted in a fundamental understanding of the first neurons and first synapses in the human pain pathway. The present proposal for an administrative supplement focuses on clinical research project 2, conducted in deeply phenotyped patients with chronic low back pain. We will offer the candidate a structured milestone-based training in clinical pain research with the following aims: learn clinical phenotyping of patients with pain; learn somatosensory phenotyping of patients with pain; learn how to design, implement, and analyze clinical pain studies; and learn how to disseminate research results via abstracts, posters, and manuscripts.