Johns Hopkins Names Inaugural Director of Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute
Michael J. Caterina, M.D., Ph.D., has been named inaugural director of the Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins, a center developed to fund research into controlling, preventing and eliminating pain.
Caterina is a professor of neurosurgery, biological chemistry, and neuroscience in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, a founding member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sensory Biology and co-director of the Biological Chemistry Graduate Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a nationally and internationally recognized sensory neurobiologist with a focus on the molecular basis of pain and temperature sensation.
“We conducted an international search to find just the right person to lead this vitally important institute. We found that the best person was right here at Hopkins,” says Henry Brem, M.D., Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery and director of the Department of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. “We couldn’t be more excited that Mike has agreed to lead this effort into changing the way that neurosurgical pain is understood and treated.”
Allan J. Belzberg, M.D., an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will serve as clinical director of the institute. Belzberg also serves at the director of the Peripheral Nerve Center at Johns Hopkins. As a clinician-scientist, he has many varied clinical and basic science research interests. Belzberg utilizes innovative techniques to reduce and even eliminate pain through bypassing an injured nerve by using a healthy nerve to rewire the system.
The Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins was founded in 2011 with a $25 million gift and the belief that basic brain, spine and peripheral nerve neuroscience combined with clinical brain and spine imaging, pharmacology, human genomics and neurosurgery will provide insights into new treatments for people with painful conditions. The institute has already seen great progress in the clinical evaluation and treatment of pain and in developing a new pain research program, Brem says.
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