Event Announcements

Speakers announced for The Science of Pain and its Management 2016


These are the biographies of some of our accepted speakers.  Not all our speakers are listed here

Olivia J. Kirtley

University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Dr Olivia Kirtley is a postdoctoral research psychologist in the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory at the University of Glasgow. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Stirling before gaining her PhD from the University of Glasgow. Olivia’s research investigates physical pain sensitivity in people who self-harm and how this relates to sensitivity to emotional pain. Her work also explores some of the factors that may be involved in someone moving from thinking about self-harm to acting upon those thoughts. Broadly, Olivia’s research interests lie in using biological, psychophysiological, and psychological methods to investigate self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

University of Glasgow -

Yukinori Nagakura

Aomori University, Aomori, Japan

Yukinori Nagakura dedicated himself to drug discovery research in Astellas Pharma Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) for 23 years till 2014. His research was focused on the development of new analgesics by translating analgesic efficacies between animals and humans. His achievements includes the publication of a novel animal model of fibromyalgia and its use in the drug discovery research. Currently, he has kept up research in the pain field as Associate Professor at Aomori University (Aomori, Japan) with his recent publication “Challenges in drug discovery for overcoming ‘dysfunctional pain’: an emerging category of chronic pain. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery 10:1043-1045, 2015”.

Aomori University

Mike Nahorski

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Dr Mike Nahorski is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research, University of Cambridge. Originally trained as a Medical Geneticist (PhD, Univerisity of Birmingham, UK, 2012), Mike has spent his career to date investigating the genetic causes of rare Mendelian disorders. In the past four years he has turned his attention to identifying genes essential for pain sensing and their encoded protein’s function in pain sensing neurons. Mike has published a number of papers in the area of pain genetics, and hopes that his work will result in the identification of novel targets for analgesic medicine development.

University of Cambridge




Graeme Jones

University of Tasmania, Hobart TAS, Australia

Graeme Jones is Professor of Rheumatology and Epidemiology and Head of the Musculoskeletal Unit at the Menzies Research Institute. His current research interests are the development of peak bone mass and fracture aetiology in children, genetic and environmental risk factors for osteoarthritis, health promotion, the role of environmental factors such as diet and physical activity in osteoporosis and fractures in the elderly, clinical trials in osteoarthritis and meta-analysis. He was Tasmanian scientist of the year in 2013, named in the booklet NHMRC ten of the best in 2013 and was awarded the University of Tasmania research medal in 2014.

University of Tasmania






Marc Karam

University of Balamand, Biology Department, Kourah, Lebanon

Marc Karam is a Lebanese Immunologist and the Chairperson of the Biology Department at the University of Balamand-Lebanon. He got his PhD from the University of Surrey (UK) in 2006 in the field of Neuroimmunology. His major research interets involve inflammatory cytokines relayed topics such as hyperalgesia and atherosclerosis. He is a member of the Bristish Society for Immunolgy and has participated in many scientific events in the UK mainly as an oral presenter.

University of Balamand





Marino Convertino

University of North Carolina, United States, Chapel Hill

Dr. Convertino received his MSc summa cum laude in Pharmacy from the University of Bari (IT) in 2005. For his doctoral studies, he moved to the University of Zurich (CH), where he worked on the identification of small molecules with a therapeutic potential in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2011, he received a double PhD in Biochemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, under the supervision of Prof. A. Caflisch and Prof. A. Carotti. After one year spent in the Drug Discovery and Development Unit of the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa (IT), working on the development of new anti-pain drugs, he joined the Dokholyan lab, in January 2013. He has been appointed Research Assistant Professor in September 2015 and his current research is focusing on the identification of a new class of compounds able to target different isoforms of the μ-opioid receptor with the specific aim to develop novel analgesic drugs.

University of North Carolina






Tracey A. Ignatowski

University at Buffalo, Buffalo, United States

Dr. Tracey Ignatowski recently transitioned to tenure-track Assistant Professor, Pathology and Anatomical Sciences Department, and is Program for Neuroscience member at University at Buffalo-SUNY (UB). She earned B.S. (1990) and Ph.D. (Pathology, 1995) degrees from UB. Her neuroimmunology research led her to University of Rochester Medical Center, Pharmacology Department for postdoctoral training. As Research Assistant Professor (Anesthesiology, UB), she began studying supraspinal TNF in neuropathic pain. Her recent publications highlight the importance of the hippocampus to this relationship. She holds positions on editorial boards and reviews for numerous journals. She has published 40+ peer-reviewed articles and four book chapters.

University at Buffalo





Priyanka Chaudhry

Baylor Comprehensive Headache Center, Dallas, United States

Dr. Chaudhry is Board Certified in both Neurology and Headache Medicine. She received her medical degree from Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, Karnaiaka, India and completed her internship and residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Post residency, she completed a fellowship in headache medicine also at UT Southwestern Medical Center.She is a member of the International Headache Society, American Headache Society and American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Chaudhry has contributed in headache literature, and is frequently involved in patient education.

Baylor Comprehensive Headache Center



Anna Maria Aloisi

Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Italy

Prof. Anna Maria Aloisi took the Degree in Medicine at University of Siena in 1985 and spent all her academic career in the Institute of Human Physiology at University of Siena.  At present she is Associate Professor of Physiology, at University of Siena. Her research activity was characterized by a continuous interaction with many national and international groups and was focused on the study of pain mechanisms with particular attention on the study of gonadal hormone-induced effects in pain mechanisms in humans and rats, on the study of sex differences in the pain-induced responses, in the rat and on the study of the relationship between behaviour and limbic system.

Università degli Studi di Siena -




Pippa Hawley

BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada

Dr. Hawley is an internist and palliative medicine specialist with a busy clinical and academic practice in Vancouver, BC. She designed the “BowT ie Model of 21st Century Palliative Care” designed to facilitate early integration of palliative care with disease management, and includes survivorship. She also started the Minimally Invasive Palliative Procedures Conference at the BCCA in 2011, and has a close woking relationship with anesthesia and neurosurgery colleagues to facilitate access to interventional analgesic techiniques. She teaches extensively on the use of methadone for analgesic purposes.

BC Cancer Agency




Ferenc Zádor

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szeged, Hungary

Dr. Ferenc Zádor is a young postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Biochemistry, Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Hungary. He obtained his Ph.D degree in 2014 in neuropharmacology at his current affiliation. His field of interest is the functioning and interaction of opioid and cannabinoid receptors at the molecular and behavioural level. In his current projects Dr. Zádor is evaluating morphinan and other opioid analogues as well as opioid-cannabinnoid bivalent compounds.

Hungarian Acadamy of Sciences





Tasha Stanton, The University of South Australia, School of Health Science, Adelaide, Australia

Dr Tasha Stanton is a Senior Research Fellow at The University of South Australia, Adelaide and Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney. Dr Stanton currently holds an NHRMC Early Career Fellowship (2014-2018). She has received >$1.7m in competitive research funding and has been a keynote/invited speaker at 20 national and international conferences. Her research focusses on clinical pain neuroscience, with a specific interest in cortical body representation, somatosensation, multi-modal illusions, and pain.

Peter Przekop, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, United States

Peter Przekop, D.O., Ph.D. is the director of the pediatric chronic pain and headache clinic at the Loma Linda University Medical School. He is on faculty at the Loma Linda University Medical School in the departments of pediatrics and psychiatry. He developed and directed the pain management program at the Betty Ford Center for 6 years. His research interests include non-pharmacologic treatments of chronic pain and predisposing factors in both children and adults. He has published over 40 peer reviewed articles and recently published a book about the treatment of chronic pain entitled Conquer Chronic Pain. He serves on two editorial boards and is on the Board of Directors of the American Osteopathic Association Addiction Medicine Society.

Theodore Price, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, United States

Ted Price’s laboratory is interested in the fundamental principles underlying neuronal plasticity leading to chronic pain. His lab aims to develop novel therapeutics based on these discoveries with the potential to either prevent the development of or permanently reverse chronic pain states. He focuses on two major areas: plasticity in peripheral nociceptive neurons following injury and plasticity in central nervous system circuits that results from persistent stimulation of peripheral nociceptors. The lab utilizes molecular, biochemical, genetic, behavioral, imaging and electrophysiological techniques combined with an overarching interest in pharmacology and drug discovery to tackle this problem.

Zainab Samaan, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Dr. Samaan is an Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Associate Member, Dept of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Faculty member of the Population Genomics Program and the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. She is a Staff Psychiatrist at the Mood Disorders Program, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Dr. Samaan completed psychiatry and research training in Ireland and UK. In addition to her medical degree, she holds a Masters in Science from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and a PhD in psychiatric genetics from the Institute of Psychiatry and Kings College London, UK. Her clinical and research interests are focused on complex depression, predictors of suicidal behaviour and substance use disorders with emphasis on biological markers including genetic variants.

Ido Strauss, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel

Dr. Strauss is a senior staff neurosurgeon at the functional neurosurgery unit at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky medical center. He specializes in neurosurgical interventions for movement disorders, epilepsy, psychiatric conditions and pain. These include deep brain stimulation and other forms of neuromodulation, as well as ablative stereotactic procedures and radiosurgery.

Surgery for intractable oncological pain conditions is one of his main professional activities and he performs stereotactic cingulotomies, open and percutaneous cordotomies and midline myelotomies. Dr. Strauss leads a research project incorporating fMRI and intraoperative microelectrode recording to define the role of the anterior cingulate cortex in pain perception and modulation.

Mary Ann Muckaden, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India 

MBBS ,MD (Radiotherapy), MSc in Palliative Medicine, Cardiff University,UK ,EPEC Master Facilitator for Paediatrics and India  North Western Univ. ,Chicago, US

Memberships of Medical associations: ACT (Organization for Children with life Threatening conditions, UK), ICPCN (International Children’s Palliative Care Network), IAHPC (International Association of Hospice & Palliative Care), UICC e-tool kit for pain , Core committee member, EAPC (European Association of Palliative Care ), INCTR ( International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research), APHN      ( Asia Pacific Hospice Network ), ESMO ( European Society of Medical Oncology ) AROI (Association of Radiation Oncologists of India), BMG (Bombay Hematology Group), IAPC (Indian Association of Palliative Care), ICRO (Founder member- Indian College of Radiation Oncology), MPOI (Medical & Pediatric Oncologists of India)

Areas of interest and achievements:

  • Palliative Care at Tata Memorial Centre, • Integration of Palliative care into the trajectory of illness as early as possible for patients with life limiting conditions and their families.


  • Education of medical students of MD, Palliative Medicine & Radiation Oncology, Fellowship under HBNI.
  • Palliative care lectures included in Curriculum of MD Paediatrics, MD Medicine and MS Surgery for Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.
  • Lectures for Palliative Care for various curricula of nurses, social workers, Occupation therapists.
  • Creating and help implement Palliative care policy for Govt. of Maharashtra; training of Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Counselors and Health Care Workers for Palliative care in rural areas of Maharashtra through NRHM and NCD.


Publications-Over 50 publications in National and International Indexed Journals, 9  book chapters, numerous articles for non indexed journals and other publications

Research projects: PI for   14 IRB reviewed projects, 3 multi centric international projects Co- PI and Co-  I      24 IRB reviewed projects

Sastry Bhagavatula, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Emeritus Amos D Korczyn, Tel Aviv University, Ramat, Israel

Felipe Fregni, Harvard Medical School, United States

Julie Gregory, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Julie was a Clinical Nurse Specialist in acute pain for almost 15 years where she led the acute pain team to develop and improve pain management practice across an acute hospital. An important aspect of this role was education to raise an awareness of health care professionals of the impact of pain for the individual patient and their recovery from ill-health. Recent work has examined pain assessment for people with communication difficulties, including cognitive impairment and dementia. After examining and trialling various pain assessment tools an observational assessment tool that includes families to help identify pain was developed.

He Hong-Gu, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Victor J. Hruby, Regents Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Jacek Kubica, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Collegium Medicum, Bydgoszcz, Poland

Ramakrishnan Mani, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Dr Ram Mani is an emerging researcher in the area of musculoskeletal pain at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the deputy director of the Pain@Otago Research Theme (2016-2020) and he is leading the pain education research subtheme. His current research focusses on clinical assessment of pain mechanisms for developing targeted management of persistent musculoskeletal pain. Pain mechanisms include neural mechanisms, psychosocial factors, and disease comorbidities including lifestyle factors. Another lines of research includes evaluating the outcomes of pain content in the undergraduate physiotherapy curriculum and pain education courses for physiotherapists.

Tatyana Mollayeva, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Theodore Price, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, United States

Andrej Stancak, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

I am a senior lecturer in behavioural neuroscience at University of Liverpool. My research focuses on brain mechanisms of experimental and clinical pain using electroencephalography and functional MRI. I have authored 70 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters. Clinical projects of my group include fibromyalgia, angina and spinal cord stimulation therapy in neuropathic pain.

Yang D.Teng, Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States

Kati Thieme, Philipps-University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany

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Chair Persons

Luana Colloca, University of Maryland School of Nursing University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, United States

Cliff Richardson, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Tasha Stanton, The University of South Australia, School of Health Science, Adelaide, Australia

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