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At the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute, we believe that basic brain, spine, and peripheral nerve neuroscience combined with clinical brain and spine imaging, pharmacology and human genomics will provide insights into new treatments for people with painful conditions. These therapies could treat painful conditions in a similar way as antibiotics – targeting specific bacteria in the treatment of infectious diseases.

The efforts of the Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute will incorporate several different clinical and research units, and build on existing work in pain being conducted by a broad range of specialists at Johns Hopkins. Through this collaboration, we intend to accelerate the research in understanding pain to significantly contribute to advancing the treatment of acute and chronic pain, leading to the development of novel drugs, prevention options, and treatment therapies. This research also will have major implications for future social services, education, and policy issues.

Clinical Research Center

Our goal is to create an evidence-based clinical research center that will facilitate faculty members conducting clinical trials and outcome research. Program Aims:

  • To develop a research infrastructure in the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery to facilitate pain-associated clinical research in brain tumor, cerebrovascular, spine, and neuro-oncology.
  • To cultivate clinical research in advancing a better understanding of neurosurgical pain and pursuing optimal clinical pain management through clinical trials, including testing novel neurosurgical procedures, therapeutics and translating laboratory science into clinical practice to improve pain control, patient’s quality of life and overall survivorship.
  • To develop statistical methodology and techniques specialized for neurosurgical clinical research and use state-of-the-art study design to meet current challenges in surgical trials.
  • To participate in the neurosurgical residency training program ensuring that future generations of neurosurgeons trained at Johns Hopkins will have advanced clinical research skills and experience in neurosurgical pain management and clinical trials.

Pain Resource Team

A pain management interdisciplinary team will serve in a consultative capacity with the clinical teams in the neurosciences functional unit. The pain management team will include a dedicated credentialed pain management nurse, a pain clinical specialist-pharmacist, and a pain-expert physician faculty leader. The program aims include:

  • To test the hypothesis that by reducing the perioperative pain maximally will reduce the likelihood of a patient having a chronic pain problem.
  • Improve patient satisfaction, comfort and treatment by improving the management of post-operative pain.
  • Attend to the patient safety consequences of pain, as pain increases both fall risks and cognitive interference. Effective pain treatment requires the balancing of risks and benefits.
  • Increase the interdisciplinary team’s proficiency, knowledge and understanding about pain management and the patient’s pain experience.
  • Reduce delayed physical therapy and occupational therapy assessments due to inadequate pain control.
  • Promote effective pain management across the continuum, including other evidence-based interventions and also the patient’s participation in pain control, i.e., transitions from clinic visit or from NCCU to inpatient units to home.

Contact us

To learn more about the Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins - To Control, Prevent, and Eliminate Pain, please email us.


Town Meeting: April 2

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Town Meeting will convene on Thursday, April 2, from noon to 1 p.m. in Hurd Hall. A  panel discussion on biomedical discovery, one of the six priorities identified in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Strategic Plan, will feature Dr. Michael Caterina as one of the panelists. All are encouraged to attend. 

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