Pain

At the Pain Management Research Institute, our vision is to be a global leader in comprehensive pain management solutions. We strive to achieve this by undertaking cutting-edge research and delivering education and training to clinicians caring for people with chronic pain.

Since our inception in 1991, we have focused on patient advocacy and integrating our research and training with clinical services. Through this process, the latest research can inform future care.

The Pain Management Research Institute is part of the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health. It has academic and lab space within the Kolling Institute building, as well as facilities in the Douglas building at Royal North Shore Hospital.

From here, our clinical research is undertaken alongside the nationally and internationally-recognised pain education program. Patients with acute pain, cancer pain and chronic non-cancer pain receive treatment in collaboration with the Michael J Cousins’ Pain Management & Research Centre.


Professor Paul GlareProfessor Paul Glare

Chair in Pain Medicine, Northern Clinical School
Director, Pain Management Research Institute
Head, Discipline of Pain Medicine, Sydney Medical School

Conjoint Associate Professor Paul Wrigley

Postdoctoral Scientist

Clinical Professor Chris Vaughan

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Karin Aubrey

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Yo Otsu

Postdoctoral Scientist

 Conjoint Professor Michael Nicholas

Postdoctoral Scientist

Clinical Associate Professor Charles Brooker

Visiting Medical Officer

Associate Professor Claire Ashton-James

Postdoctoral Scientist and Educator

Dr Bryony Winters

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Sarah Overton

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Manasi Mittinty

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Neda Assareh

Research Fellow

Dr Ali Gholamrezaei

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Eindra Aung

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Elizabeth Devonshire

Educator

Dr Duncan Sanders

Educator

Vanessa Mitchell - Research Officer

Sandra O'Malley - Research Project Manager

Rebecca Power - Research Assistant

Dr Nazim Uddin  - Research Assistant

Dr Daniel Costa - Statistician and Researcher

Dr Ali Asghari - PhD Researcher

Eddy Sokalai  - PhD Student

Michael Magee - PhD Student

Mayumi Oguchi - PhD Student

Muskaan Kalra - Honours student

Caitlin Fenech - Honours student

Olivia Walls - Honours Student

For over five years, the Pain Management Research Institute has been designated as the lead site for pain research in NSW by the Ministry of Health. We have provided ongoing leadership of the Pain Management Network of the Agency of Clinical Innovation. Our researchers collaborate with other centres within the Kolling Institute and across the University of Sydney, such as the Sydney Musculoskeletal Network, the Brain & Mind Centre and the Cancer Research Network. Our network extends nationally and internationally.

Pain Management Research Institute’s key activities and achievements

  1. Research: We had two lab-based groups (cellular mechanisms of pain and cannabinoids; neurobiology of pain inhibitory pathways in spinal cord) and four clinical research groups (Clinical Trials; Pain Testing and Pain Pathways; Cancer Survivor Pain, with a focus on self-management and opioid deprescribing;
  2. Brain, Behaviour and Society, with a focus on early intervention to prevent the development of acute pain). Our research income was more than $2.5 million. Our research output included 24 peer-reviewed publications. Two new PhD scholarships were donated last year.
  3. Education: The Pain Management Research Institute’s Pain Education Unit runs a degree course annually and there’s been a strong increase in demand in recent years.
  4. Advocacy: Professor Paul Glare replaced Professor Cousins on the board of Painaustralia. Professor Nicholas is co-chair of the NSW ACI Pain Management Network, and is on the Council of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

With additional funding, Pain Management Research Institute researchers plan to undertake the following projects to:

  1. Understand the role of glycine neurotransmission targeting neurons in the brain
  2. Improve co-ordination of care for chronic pain patients frequently attending the Emergency Department
  3. Trial SMS text messaging to support patients tapering off opioids
  4. Evaluate pain self-management in cancer survivors
  5. Develop standardised functional measures for pain clinics worldwide
  6. Demonstrate best practice of pain management in women having Caesareans

Events, News and Seminars

Kolling researchers to lead national project for better back pain care

Kolling researchers to lead national project for better back pain care

Researchers from the Kolling Institute will strengthen their expertise in the management of low back..... Read more

Category: Funding support, Musculoskeletal Research

Kolling centre guiding gold standard rehabilitation care

Kolling centre guiding gold standard rehabilitation care

The John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research has been awarded close to $10 million to help impr..... Read more

Category: Funding support, Research Excellence

World-leading research in the spotlight

World-leading research in the spotlight

The Neuroscience and Pain Research Showcase provided a timely opportunity to demonstrate the breadth..... Read more

Category: Neuroscience and Pain Research, Research Excellence, World-leading technology