We seek to renew our postdoctoral Interdisciplinary Training in Biobehavioral Pain Research Program at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI). Pain is one of the most common symptoms in our society, a highly complex phenomenon including emotional and cognitive responses in concert within the neurophysiologic and genetic milieu of the organism. The treatment of pain remains inadequate in almost every clinical situation and, as a result, demands the training of the next generation of interdisciplinary pain researchers to address the challenge of developing, evaluating, disseminating, and integrating effective pain treatments into clinical care. The overarching goal of the proposed postdoctoral program is to prepare fellows to work cooperatively within an interdisciplinary research team to address the complex problem of pain. This renewal effort of the Program proposes to emphasize the neuroscience of pain throughout the training of all fellows. Each faculty mentor is actively funded, engaged in the education and training of young investigators, and committed to interdisciplinary collaboration. The Program incorporates both required and elective coursework, mentored research experiences in at least two areas of expertise in addition to the individual integrated research project, extramural grant application, and the writing and publishing of papers. The objectives are: (1) to understand broad conceptualizations of pain including, but not limited to cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social and neuron-biologic processes;(2) to develop an enhanced foundation in the neuroscience of pain;(3) to develop skills for comrpunicating, networking and collaborating with scientists in other disciplines;(4) to design and conduct an integrative study of pain as a primary symptom;and (5) to develop a career plan for an integrative program of research in the area of pain. Each fellow is to be collaboratively mentored by two Core faculties, each representing a different area of expertise in behavioral or social science, neuroscience or clinical research. The JHMI campus provides a rich array of existing training programs with which fellows can interact. Our goal is to prepare the next generation of pain scientists to lead interdisciplinary research teams addressing the problem of pain using integrative research paradigms.
Pain is one of the most common symptoms in our society, and advances in pain treatment have been disappointing at best. Given that even mild pain can impair our ability to function, developing researchers capable of leading complex studies to study the causes of persistent pain and discover better strategies for pain relief is imperative. Our goal is to prepare the next generation of pain researchers to lead this effort.
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