‘Press Herald’ showcases UNE’s role in the fight against chronic pain

December 23, 2014

A student in the Tamara King lab at UNE performs the Von Frey assay to assess pain based on withdrawal reflexes
A student in the Tamara King lab at UNE performs the Von Frey assay to assess pain based on withdrawal reflexes

The December 23, 2014 issue of the Portland Press Herald features a story on UNE’s role in the national effort to research and treat chronic pain, reporting that university researchers are working to develop new types of painkillers that bring relief without the negative side effects produced by the medications currently available.

The Press Herald interviewed co-directors of the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function (COBRE): Ed Bilsky, Ph.D., vice president for Research and Scholarship, and Ian Meng Ph.D., professor in the Department of BiomedicalSciences. Bilsky explained that UNE collaborates with Mercy Hospital’s pain center in Portland by keeping its pain doctors informed of the latest research in the field, while UNE medical students benefit from the opportunity to shadow the hospital’s pain specialists.

Bilsky also noted that because of COBRE’s existence at UNE, the university’s medical students receive more than 50 hours of pain-related instruction, and students in UNE’s other health science fields, such as social work, physical therapy and pharmacy, work in interactive, interdisciplinary teams on special pain cases and projects, increasing their exposure to the field of chronic pain as well.

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