The magnitude of the problem of pain in the US is astounding. More than 100 million Americans have pain that persists for weeks to years. The financial toll of this epidemic cost over $500 billion per year according to the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recent report, Relieving Pain in America. Similarly, there is a tremendous personal and society cost associated with substance abuse disorders (SUDs). Contemporary neurobiologic, psychological, and epidemiologic research has shown a clear intersection of pain and SUDs. Two of the IOM committee's recommendations for improving research at a national level are (1) increase support for interdisciplinary research in pain, and (2) increase the trainin of pain researchers. In this proposal, we describe a collaborative, postdoctoral (PhD, MD/PhD and MD), interdisciplinary, training program that will produce scientists with rigorous grounding in pain and SUDs research. The 18 accomplished faculty are all committed to interdisciplinary collaboration, which possess complementary expertise that ranges from cells-to- society. The training program includes both required and elective coursework, mentored research experiences, an individual integrated research project, seminars, and exposure to professional development skills, including grant proposal and manuscript writing. The training program in the Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, is intended to develop postdoctoral trainees'skills, so that they will become independent investigators in the fields of pain, SUD and their intersection. The training program will be led b Dr. Sean Mackey, in collaboration with a steering committee comprised of senior and successful scientists. They will oversee the training, scientific, and administrative aspects of the program, including a rigorous process of internal and external evaluation. In summary, this training program will bring together a talented group of post-doctoral trainees, an accomplished team of interdisciplinary mentors, an effective administrative structure, and a world-class research environment at Stanford University. The combination of talent and environment will launch the next generation of researchers who will advance our scientific knowledge and practice of pain and substance use disorders.
Pain and substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly prevalent, commonly co-occurring and take a tremendous toll on society. There is a need to train interdisciplinary researchers who can better characterize these important conditions and translate discoveries to safe and effective treatments. The aim of this post-doctoral training program is to develop the next generation of academic leaders in pain and SUDs.
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