Pain Education and Advocacy

The Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, along with UNE’s Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), is bringing together groups of health care professionals, scientists, educators, scholars and students who share a passion for transforming pain prevention, care, education and research.

The University has a long-standing interest in understanding the biological basis of acute and chronic pain, and in taking a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to educating the next generation of heath care professionals.

A Community in Pain

The materials on this page consist of video documentaries, facilitator notes and case reports detailing a wide variety of pain conditions from patients of all ages. These materials have been presented at the 2013 Interprofessional Education Collaborative’s Spring Symposium “The Science of Pain and The Art of Healing,” as well as the Maine Osteopathic Association 2015 Midwinter Symposium.

Chronic Pain

The Center for Excellence in Neurosciences has been collaborating with UNE’s Interprofessional Education Collaborative to create a comprehensive and incomparable collection of interprofessional training materials. These materials have been crafted in hopes of training future practitioners to provide the highest quality of care to patients experiencing chronic pain. The materials highlight the importance of working interprofessionally and approaching the patient as a whole person when in treatment. 

Chronic Pain Preview

Together this Chronic Pain project and its subsidiaries can be used as educational material or for patient advocacy, in pieces or as a whole, in a lecture or small group setting. The Project is arranged to include resources for students and educators. The narratives give unique insight into the lives of patients experiencing chronic pain and is incomparable to any other interprofessional educational material.

Cancer Pain

In 2013 the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences and UNE’s Interprofessional Education Collaborative began a project funded in part by the Maine Cancer Foundation to examine cancer pain from an interprofessional perspective. A team of undergraduate and graduate students worked under faculty and staff guidance to interview pain patients, doctors, social workers and other professionals in order to formulate a collection of case studies, informative videos and facilitator notes. These materials shed light on a wide variety of obstacles that cancer pain patients face over the course of their treatment and life after treatment. 

Shane Beaulieu
Testicular Cancer

Sarah Couture
Aplastic Anemia with Pre-leukemic Cells

Jani Druck
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Kathy Thompson 
Breast Cancer 



Edward Bilsky, PHD

Professor of Pharmacology, COM
Vice President for Research & Scholarship
University of New England
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Dr. Edward Bilsky currently serves as the Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the University of New England. He received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1996, with a concentration in opioid pharmacology, pain and addiction. As an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado, he received that institution's highest honor, the Faculty Member of the Year in the spring of 2001, for his outstanding teaching, research and service to students. In the fall of 2001, he joined the faculty at the University of New England where he is currently a tenured Professor of Pharmacology and was the founding Director of the Center of Excellence in Neuroscience. He lectures on a variety of topics related to the neurobiology of pain and pain management to students in the colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Health Professions, Arts and Sciences and Pharmacy. Dr. Bilsky's laboratory conducts translational research in the areas of pain, addiction and other neurological disorders. He has received over 5 million dollars in extramural funding through a variety of federal, state and private grants and contracts including the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research and biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. He has published over 65 peer-reviewed publications in leading pharmacology journals, and has presented nationally and internationally in a variety of different venues. Dr. Bilsky is a co-founder of two small biotechnology companies that are developing novel analgesics and other drugs to help manage opioid side effects. Part of this work has brought a novel opioid antagonist into clinical trials. He was recently awarded the 2011 AOA Research Mentor of the Year Award.

David Biondi, DO

Therapeutic Area Lead in Neuroscience for U.S. Medical Affairs
Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC
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Dr. Biondi is certified in Neurology and Pain Management by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). He has developed subspecialty expertise in chronic headache and chronic pain management, and clinical research design. Dr. Biondi transitioned to a clinical research position in the pharmaceutical industry in 2006 after gaining more than 20 years of experience in medical practice, with more than half of that time dedicated to pain and headache management, and interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation. Between 1998 and 2008, he was a director, leader or lecturer for 24 continuing medical education courses (international, national and regional), presented 38 grand round seminars (national and regional), and presented 99 invited seminars (international, national and regional). Dr. Biondi's research has focused on developing evidence to address clinical knowledge gaps and unmet medical need in the diagnosis and management of chronic headache, chronic pain and neuropathic pain, including identification of risk factors for the chronic transformation of pain. At Janssen Pharmaceuticals, he now leads the U.S. Medical Affairs research and development strategy for Alzheimer's disease and immunotherapeutic approaches for its treatment, specifically immunotherapies that target toxic beta-amyloid species in the central nervous system. In addition, he is the principal medical consultant on a team that is developing a novel technology for neuromodulation of chronic headache pain. Dr. Biondi has an academic appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford Maine. He also serves as Chair of the Academics and Research Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees for the University of New England.


Research Associate Professor, COM
University of New England
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Dr. Geoffrey Bove's research career has focused on pain neurobiology, more specifically the effect of inflammation on nerves and axons. He has also published in other areas, including headache, endometriosis and postoperative complications. His teaching has been in anatomy, biomechanics and pain physiology. Dr. Bove had previously worked in private practice of chiropractic, and currently practices part-time. These experiences have given him a unique perspective and deep understanding of pain.


Dean and Professor, COP
University of New England
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Dr. Brazeau can bring to the Center for Excellence in Pain Education at the University of New England two areas of expertise; specifically 1) in the area of teaching, learning and assessment as it relates to curricular and course design and faculty development, and 2) research expertise in parenteral formulations including drug delivery and formulation excipients with a major focus on evaluating and characterizing tissue damage and pain associated with parenteral injections and formulations. Specifically, she has more than 15 years or experience in curricular and course design, implementation and assessment from experiences at the University of Florida, University at Buffalo and the University of New England. Dr. Brazeau also serves as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. She has been investigating parenterals and parenteral injections since 1983 and has been the editor of books and chapters related to parenteral formulations and injectables. More recently, Dr. Brazeau has been a co-author of a pharmacogenomics textbook for pharmacists and other health care professionals. She has been the recipient of teaching and service awards from the University of Florida and the University at Buffalo.


Senior Scientist
Waltham, MA, and Orono, ME

Dr. Alper Caglayan is currently a Senior Scientist with Milcord, which develops knowledge-based advanced technology solutions for U.S. government agencies. Dr. Caglayan's major research interests are software agents, machine learning and reasoning under uncertainty. Dr. Caglayan brings to this effort a significant body of pioneering work in software agents, machine learning, information security and computer vision, including real-time expert systems, self-organizing neural network algorithms, event detection in dynamic systems, and behavior based user models. As Principal Scientist of Charles River Analytics, Senior Scientist at BB&N, and Research Associate at NASA Langley Research Center, Dr. Caglayan has extensive experience and success in government R&D. He directed several DoD (DARPA, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy) funded R&D contracts as Principal Investigator or Program Manager, and holds Secret clearance. Dr. Caglayan has co-founded four companies including Peoplestreet, a professional social network management company; Open Sesame, the first web user behavior modeling software now part of Adobe Corporation; Bowne Internet Solutions, a 250-person Internet consulting and development company now part of Lionbridge; and Charles River Analytics, an R&D company pioneering the development of innovative solutions incorporating intelligent systems technology since 1983. Dr. Caglayan is the principal author of Agent Sourcebook published by John Wiley Computing, has published and contributed to five books, and over 100 articles on intelligent agents, reasoning under uncertainty, machine learning, personalization and computer vision in professional journals, conference proceedings and trade publications. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Robert College Istanbul, Turkey, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech. 


Associate Professor of Social Work, WCHP
Director, Interprofessional Education Collaborative
University of New England
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Dr. Shelley Cohen Konrad is Director of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative and Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. Much of Dr. Cohen Konrad's research and scholarship focuses on vulnerable maternal-child populations including those raising children with serious health conditions and addicted mothers. Recently, she has concentrated on interprofessional efforts to develop caring practice models for health education in graduate and continuing education. Dr. Cohen Konrad is Associate Editor for the Journal of Interprofessional Care. In 2007, Dr. Cohen Konrad won the Harriett Bartlett Award for Scholarship in Health Care for her service and scholarship in health advancements. She has traveled nationally and internationally to present her research and scholarship.


Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics, COM
Chief Scientific Officer, Expert Medical Navigator, Inc.
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A national expert in clinical decision-making and women's health, Dr. Col pioneered work in the area of risk modeling and personalized decision support, developing patient-specific risk models and strategies for developing and integrating sophisticated computerized decision support into primary care to help doctors and patients make more informed treatment decisions. Her current research interests are at the juncture of evidence-based medicine, decision sciences, and medical informatics bridging population-based outcomes research with shared decision making. Specific research interests include integrating shared decision making and decision support into clinical practice, meta-analyses, decision modeling, measuring and incorporating patient preferences into decision support, communicating uncertainty about the risks and benefits of treatments, and adapting social marketing techniques to change patient and physician behavior. She is involved in several national consensus panels and has leadership roles in several international initiatives in the area of shared decision making, including the, International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) Collaboration and Cochrane Collaboration Review of Patient Decision Aids. She serves on the FDA's Risk Communication Advisory Committee and wrote the chapter on Shared Decision Making in the recent FDA book on evidence-based risk communication. Dr. Col served on AHRQs Health Care Technology and Decision Sciences (HCTDS) study section and on two Veterans Administration Health Services Research and Development Study Sections (Methodology Group and General Health Services Research Group). Dr. Col served as PI for several AHRQ-funded R01s, the National Children's Study Center, and the National Community Cancer Centers Program in Maine.


Executive Director, Center of Community and Public Health
Associate Professor of Public Health, WCHP
University of New England
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In March 2006, Dr. Deprez joined the faculty at the University of New England and became Executive Director of the newly formed Center for Health Policy, Planning and Research. In 2008, he became the Executive Director of the newly formed Center of Community and Public Health, a center for excellence at UNE. He teaches Health Policy and Management in the MPH Program and lectures all over the U.S. and overseas on a variety of topics related to chronic disease and population health assessments. He will provide leadership and mentorship to faculty in the new Center for Health Disparities Research, and has conducted research on community and practice based disease prevention and care innovation projects for over 30 years. He has expertise in chronic disease care and prevention for cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, and diabetes, in particular in rural communities in both the U.S. and Africa. He has mentored faculty in the design and conducting of high quality research for many years. He has been a leader in the development of rural partnerships aimed at addressing chronic disease through both quality improvements in the practice and through improved patient self management and has developed and tested new approaches to patient self management. His experience and knowledge of chronic disease issues, rural communities and practices, and his training in quantitative and qualitative methods will be a positive asset to this project.


Director, Geriatric Education and Research
Associate Professor & Director, U-ExCEL Elder Fitness Program, COM
University of New England
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Dr. Gugliucci attained a Ph.D. in Gerontology, completed an NIA funded post doctoral research fellowship, and was awarded the Rand Summer Institute for Social Scientists Fellowship (1 of 55 international awardees). Besides her 18 years of leadership of the BodyWISE Center for Health and Fitness, she directed the HRSA-funded Maine Geriatric Education Center for five years, and is the director for Geriatrics Education and Research in the COM Department of Geriatric Medicine as well as the Research Director for the Northeast Osteopathic Medical Education Network. She works with the University of New England's different colleges and throughout Maine to increase training, education, resources and research in gerontology/geriatrics for health practitioners and students. In 2011 and again in 2012, the Department of Geriatric Medicine was ranked in the top 20 departments of geriatric medicine out of 160 U.S. Medical Schools in U.S. News & World Report. Her U-ExCEL Program was awarded the Maine Governor's Award for Fitness Programs in the Special Populations category in 2011, and her Learning by Living: Life Altering Medical Education Research Project (whereby medical students are admitted into nursing homes complete with a diagnosis and standard procedures of care toileting, bathing and medications) has been recognized internationally. Dr. Gugliucci was the director for the BodyWISE Center for 18 years, which included successful supervision of eight professional staff and work with 150+ physicians and 500+ members (85% that were >60 years of age) to improve/maintain health through fitness for at-risk populations. This leadership role solidified her skills as a manager/supervisor that included 65 student staff with the lowest attrition rate of all UNE student employers. Now, as a faculty member/administrator in COM she has the highest attainment record for mentoring medical students awarded prestigious research fellowships - including the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) Fellowships - of all colleges of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. It is not surprising that she received a national mentorship award and health educator award in 2011-12. She offers this group extensive connections to the Maine elder care community including her national and state board posts within multiple organizations and has established connections with Maine's older adult population and collaborates with Maine's Elder Councils and Office of Elder Services.


Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, COM
University of New England
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Dr. King's laboratory focuses on using approaches that allow for mechanistic evaluation of affective/motivational aspects of pain and pain relief in the preclinical setting. She has collaborative efforts with Dr. Frank Porreca at the University of Arizona centered on: 1) the role of ascending and descending pathways in chronic pain states; 2) mechanistic differences in mechanisms driving ongoing and evoked pain states; and 3) the discovery of molecules that can effectively ameliorate ongoing pain across various preclinical models of pain (i.e., post-operative pain, inflammation-induced pain, cancer induced bone pain, and nerve-injury induced pain). The goal of these studies is to contribute to the discovery of alternative approaches to pain management that can be advanced to humans for treatment of chronic pain. An area of focus for her research is disease induced bone pain using preclinical models of cancer-induced bone pain and osteoarthritis. Studies include analysis of pathological changes within these models to determine: 1) the degree of pathological changes in relation to pain and 2) potential effects of treatment on disease as well as the pain. Dr. King's work includes not only behavioral assays of the motivational aspect of pain, but also analysis of disease progression using x-rays and histological staining of bone for analysis of tumor growth within bone, osteoclastogenesis that mediates bone resorption and associated bone loss, and treatment-induced changes in cartilage in a model of osteoarthritis. In addition, imaging methods are used to determine tumor-induced bone loss and pathological changes such as diminished joint space in the model of osteoarthritis induced pain. 


Assistant Professor of Biology, CAS
University of New England
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In July 2010, Dr. Lei joined the faculty of the Department of Biology and Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences at UNE. His research focuses on the function of the transcription factor Sox11 in the development and plasticity of nociceptive sensory neurons after peripheral nerve injury. Dr. Lei has the expertise, motivation, proper collaborators, and the ideal environment necessary to successfully carry out this project. He has initiated very positive interactions with several members of the center including Drs. Ling Cao, Ian Meng and Edward Bilsky. Their extensive experience and expertise in the study of pain are of tremendous value to his research. In addition to research, he also teaches several undergraduate biology courses, including Developmental Neurobiology, an upper level course in which Dr. Lei primarily cover the development of nociceptive neurons and the hippocampus. 



Professor, Pharmacology and Clinical Neurosciences, COM
University of New England
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Dr. Lenox has had a respected academic research and teaching career as a neuroscientist and psychiatrist with more than 150 publications in the fields of molecular neuropharmacology and clinical psychopharmacology; as well as membership on NIMH Study Sections/Council Review panels, and continuous NIH research funding for over 23 years. As former Worldwide Head of CNS Drug Discovery at Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, he had responsibility for setting strategy and leading CNS drug discovery and early phase development for neuropsychiatric diseases that included a major program targeting novel treatments for neuropathic pain. Currently, he is providing CNS drug discovery and development programmatic and strategic consultation to Academia, NIH, Biotech, and Pharma. Coincident with his recent relocation to Maine, he accepted a faculty appointment at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), where he has been working with Drs. Meng and Bilsky as a research advisor within the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, as well as the Dean to implement changes in the Behavioral Health and the Clinical Neuroscience curriculum. As a member of the COM Internal Advisory Committee for the NIH COBRE Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function, he will be offering his expertise and mentoring for both junior and senior investigators, and will serve as an advisor for Dr. Bilsky and the interdisciplinary faculty regarding educational and curriculum objectives for the proposed NIH Pain Consortium.


Associate Professor Pharmacy Practice, COP
University of New England
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Edward Li, Pharm.D., BCOP is a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the UNE College of Pharmacy.  Previously, he was Manager of Oncology Pharmacy at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit organization whose clinical practice guidelines in oncology are the standard of care in the U.S. and around the world. In this role, he led projects related to the assessment of practice trends in oncology, technology transfer, and regulatory policies affecting oncology practice. Additionally, he worked with the analytics group within the company on outcomes research projects and served as the liaison between NCCN and the pharmacy directors at NCCN Member Institutions. He also received funding to conduct several work groups and task forces related to Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, Comparative Effectiveness, and Biosimilars for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 


Program Director, M.S. Nurse Anesthesia, CHP
Program/Assistant Clinical Professor, CHP
University of New England
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Maribeth L. Massie currently serves as the Program Director and Assistant Clinical Professor of the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia Program at the University of New England. She has been instrumental in developing the curriculum for two Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree programs, with concentrations in Pain Management and Patient Safety that commence in January 2013. Professor Massie's experience developing the online DNP Pain Management track makes her ideally suited to be an integral part of this center because she has brought together experts in the field of pain management across health care disciplines, including nurse anesthetists, physicians, and other allied health professionals. The Program requires three clinical intensives with on-site, hands-on experience in a variety of pain clinics in the New England region and beyond. These 40-hour clinical intensives provide the opportunity to place the doctoral student at pain clinics with pain experts and educate them in the full experience of patient care, from obtaining a full patient history to holistic treatment approaches to utilizing the most advanced techniques in pain management. Some of these techniques will include the use of imaging techniques to placement of pain blocks.  Several of these clinics are in rural areas, bringing pain management services to those who may not have access otherwise. The DNP in Pain Management curriculum is designed to provide education in the theoretical foundations, principles and basic sciences aspects of pain as well as in the practice of pain management through extensive clinical experiences in which pain management principles are applied. A holistic approach will be part of the educational experience, incorporating eastern as well as western pain management principles to treat the whole person and their pain.

Professor Massie is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Health-Related Sciences at the Virginia Commonwealth University, with a concentration in health care economics related to access to care in pain clinics in rural America. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics related to health care economics, neonatal and pediatric anesthesia, pain management, obesity in America, and trauma anesthesia.


Vice President for Clinical Affairs
University of New England

Dr. Dora Anne Mills currently serves as the Vice President for Clinical Affairs at UNE. After receiving her M.D. from the University of Vermont (which included taking a year to work in a remote hospital in Tanzania), and completing a pediatrics internship and residency at the University of Southern California Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, she worked as a hospitalist for two years before returning to her hometown in rural Maine to practice medicine. During the four years she practiced there, she commuted to Harvard School of Public Health and obtained her MPH. In 1996 she was appointed by Governor Angus King and Commissioner of Maine Department of Human Services Commissioner Kevin Concannon to serve as Maine's State Health Officer, a position she held for nearly 15 years, until 2011. She served under both Governors King and Baldacci as well as five Health and Human Services Commissioners. She served concurrently as the State Epidemiologist when that position was vacant, and she worked closely with Maine's Medicaid agency. She served briefly as Maine's Medicaid Medical Director in 2011 before taking her current position at UNE. Her priorities at UNE include working across the graduate programs and schools of health professions and with Maine's health community to build interprofessional education in clinical settings and working with UNE's newly-accredited MPH Program. She holds an active license to practice medicine in Maine and is a board-certified pediatrician (recertification due 2015).


Professor of Pharmacology, COM
University of New England
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Dr. Mokler's overall research interest is in the changes to the function of neurotransmitter systems in the brain following insults to the brain such as exposure to drugs of abuse or prenatal protein malnutrition. The studies in his laboratory have shown that prenatal protein malnutrition alters the programming of critical areas of the brain for memory and executive function. Dr. Mokler has worked in collaboration with colleagues using behavioral and neuroanatomical techniques, in addition to neurochemical techniques in his lab to assess these changes. They have found that prenatal protein malnutrition alters noradrenergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The team has now focused their efforts on the prefrontal cortex because of their findings of attentional problems in adult rats exposed to prenatal protein malnutrition. Future studies will further characterize these changes and assess the changes induced by prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse. Dr. Mokler has had extensive experience in techniques to assess these types of changes as well as a long-term involvement with this group studying this model of prenatal malnutrition.


Assistant Professor, CGS and WCHP
Director, Cross Cultural Health Initiatives
University of New England
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Dr. Jennifer Morton is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the departments of nursing, physician assistant and graduate programs for public health at the University of New England. Additionally, she is core faculty for the Interprofessional Education Collaborative that seeks to develop innovative approaches in educating health professions students here and abroad by working in teams in an effort to improve health outcomes. Dr. Morton has spent 10 years traveling to the Western Region of Ghana with students and faculty of multiple participating universities to deliver primary care and related services alongside the Ghana Health Service and with local health workers toward reducing health disparities. Additionally, she has developed a model for health professionals in caring for opiate dependent mothers and their newborns. Dr. Morton's pilot research in this population specifically explored the caring practices perceived by substance abusing mothers in rural and urban populations toward the health professional. Publications from this early work were cited for press release in the Journal of Obstetrical, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing. Dr. Morton has developed a collaboration relationship with the Eastport Health Center in Washington County. Dr. Morton currently directs the Office of Cross Cultural Health Initiatives at the University of New England where an active academic and research partnership is being developed in Ghana, West Africa. Similar partnerships are in development in rural and urban areas of Maine. Additionally, she was recently funded to conduct public health epidemiologic research investigating the efficacy of Project LAUNCH against a comparison group in Maine regarding harm reduction in Medication Assisted Treatment for opiate dependent mothers and their infants by SAMSHA.


Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, WCHP
Program Director, Occupational Therapy
University of New England
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Dr. Jane O'Brien currently serves as the Program Director for the Occupational Therapy Department in the Westbrook College of Health Professions at the University of New England.  Dr. O'Brien received her Ph.D. in Exercise Science with a concentration in the neurobehavioral basis of motor control from the University of South Carolina School of Public Health. She has more than 20 years of clinical experience working in pediatric occupational therapy. Dr. O'Brien has conducted research and published on a variety of topics including motor control issues of children, play, sensory integration, reaction time, Model of Human Occupation, and purposeful activity.  She is co-author or editor of four occupational therapy textbooks, one of which is the premier pediatric textbook. Dr. O'Brien has received funding from foundations such as Ronald McDonald Children's Charities, Hannaford Supermarket, Inc., as well as internal funding from the University of New England.


Program Director, Add Verb Productions
Assistant Professor of Integrated Health Sciences, WCHP
University of New England

Cathy Plourde currently serves as the Program Director of Add Verb, a health and wellness education initiative at the University of New England that uses theater as the central device. Add Verb has been at UNE since 2011, but was founded in 2000 and has presented Cathy Plourde's plays in schools, colleges, conferences, and trainings in 35 states to over 150,000 people. Works have been commissioned by such groups as the Knox County Coalition Against Tobacco; Mainely Girls; Where the Girls Are; Maine Women's Fund; Planned Parenthood Network of Northern New England; and Boys To Men. Prior to developing Add Verb, Plourde provided artist residency programming, curriculum and assessment support, and artist training to the Maine Alliance for Arts Education for over nine years, having previously been licensed and taught in secondary education. Plourde has presented about her work and using theater in social justice and education settings nationally and internationally, including workshops for colleges, community action groups, teachers/youth workers and youth. Plourde joined the University of New England in January 2011, as Program Director, and in January 2012 was also appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor in Integrated Health Sciences. She provides curriculum support, educational programming, internship mentorships, and other collaborative partnerships across all of UNE's colleges. Since inception, she has secured over half a million dollars for Add Verb programming, from national, private and community foundations and individual donors, and over a quarter million dollars in performance revenues. Working with Associate Director of Add Verb, Kris Hall and other UNE creative persons, she provides a theater-based educational component to this program. This will take the form of short reader theater scripts, which prove to be a more dynamic and engaging use of the traditional case study presentation. Working with the team, 6 to 10 topics will be identified and prioritized, and targeted to specific health professions.


Professor of Occupational Therapy, WCHP
University of New England
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Dr. Regi Robnett is a professor in the Occupational Therapy Department at the University of New England. She attained her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University and her Ph.D. in Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts - Boston. She has been at the University of New England for nearly two decades. Her area of expertise is in working with older adults, specifically in the realms of cognition, functional performance, and quality of life issues. For more than 15 years, she has taught various sections of problem-based learning: small group courses that use case-based scenarios to enhance the graduate student learning experience. Since pain impacts life in a variety of biopsychosocial ways, the occupational therapy curriculum addresses pain repeatedly throughout the curriculum, especially in its role related to occupational performance. Dr. Robnett will continue to include pain and pain management in her courses related to older adults, and will be involved in developing interprofessional case-based learning modules as needed.


Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, WCHP
Associate Dean for Research, CHP
University of New England
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UNE is strong in the basic science of pain and in the education of health care professionals across the spectrum of health disciplines which is what makes UNE uniquely positioned to influence the training of health care providers in the evaluation and treatment of pain. UNE has a long history of inter-professional education and has an established infrastructure for presenting interprofessional education topics throughout the academic year. As the Associate Dean for Research in the Westbrook College of Health Professions, Dr. Rudolph provides support for faculty and students to engage in interprofessional activities and as an Associate Professor in Physical Therapy, she participates directly in the education of the students in pain management through lectures in Electrotherapy for the Control of Pain that she has presented to Physical Therapy students. Therefore, Dr. Rudolph can provide insight and guidance to the development of educational materials pertaining to physical therapy aspects of pain management.


Director of Reference Services
University of New England

Barbara Swartzlander currently serves as Library Services Director of Reference Services at the University of New England.  Among her responsibilities are: reference and research; library user instruction; collection development, including electronic resources; and community involvement, service, and outreach.  She serves on the UNE University Faculty Assembly, and is a member of the Academic Affairs Committee and the Library Sub-committee. As a professional librarian, she has worked in several types of libraries: public, corporate, medical, and academic.


Professor and Interim Chair, Pharmacology, University of Arizona
Professor of Pharmacology, COM
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Dr. Vanderah has studied the behavioral actions of opioids and non-opioids in models of acute and chronic pain for over 20 years. His studies have resulted in many (i.e., approximately 120) peer-reviewed publications and 11 book chapters in the field of pain and he has been the PI on several NIH funded projects. Dr. Vanderah teaches neuropharmacology to medical school, graduate and undergraduate students and have earned 10 teaching awards as well as being inducted into the Academy of Medical Education Scholars. He has had over 15 years experience in research training many students including undergraduates (> 18), medical students (11), graduate students completed (MS = 3; PhD = 6), postdoctoral fellows (5) and junior faculty (3). In addition, he is currently mentoring 4 students in the Ph.D. program and 1 in the MS program along with mentoring a resident in the Neurology Department. Dr. Vanderah has mentored several of the MARC undergraduate program students and MSRP students from the medical school. Students that have completed either their M.S. or Ph.D. with him have positions at pharmaceutical companies or post-doctoral positions at universities. Besides mentoring his own students he has been apart of over 35 graduate student committees. Dr. Vanderah enjoys mentoring students with great satisfaction in developing research scientists. His goals are to continue to help in creating a pain curriculum in order to educate students, residents and attending physicians on the basic science of pain and therapies that are used to inhibit pain. 


Visiting Professor, Clinical Anatomy, COM
Professor, Clinical Anatomy and Rehab, Medical University, Ghent Belgium

Dr. Andry Vleeming is working as a rehabilitation professor at the Ghent University and visiting professor in Anatomy at the University of New England and the Medical Charite University Berlin Germany. He received his Ph.D. at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, with specialty in the anatomy, biomechanics and radiology of the human pelvis and spine. He founded the research group musculoskeletal system in 1990 at the same university to improve the diagnostic understanding of patients with chronic lumbar and pelvic pain. Together with Prof Vert Mooney of the orthopedic surgery department of UCSD, they founded the Interdisciplinary world congress on lumbo pelvic pain under the auspices of the University of San Diego. Dr Vleeming became the program manager for UCSD for this congress. The 8th world congress took place in 2013 in Dubai.

In 1995, he founded in cooperation with the Dutch government a specialized rehabilitation hospital for severe chronic lumbar and pelvic pain patients. For his work as director of this clinic to successfully rehabilitate wheelchair bound women with chronic pelvic pain, he was honored a knighthood by the Queen of the Netherlands. He later became the chairman of the European Institution for Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) as chairman for the development of a European pelvic girdle pain guideline, which was published in 2008.

Dr. Vleeming lectures worldwide about the clinical anatomy of chronic low back and pelvic pain to various medical specialists. In 2010, he started cooperation with the North American Spine association to supervise the world congress on lumbo pelvic pain. Dr Vleeming's research is focused on understanding chronic lumbo pelvic pain and on developing evidence-based rehabilitation for chronic pain patients. Worldwide he is working together as an expert in diagnosing patients with severe chronic pelvic girdle and spinal pain. In the department of anatomy at the Erasmus University and the Spine and Joint Centre and the Rehabilitation department of Ghent, he had received more than 3 million dollars in grants. Dr. Vleeming has written more than 59 peer-reviewed articles in leading musculoskeletal journals. He is the author of 15 books on the musculoskeletal system and editor of 20 books and 18 book chapters.


Professor and Chair of Anatomy, COM
University of New England
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Dr. Frank H. Willard currently holds a Professorship with tenure in Anatomy and is Acting Chair of the Anatomy Department at the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine. He received his doctorate in Anatomy and Neurobiology from the University of Vermont in 1980 with a concentration in acoustic and somatic sensory system transduction and topographic anatomy of ascending somatic and auditory sensory system pathways.  He served for two and one-half years as a postdoctoral fellow investigating the development of the peripheral auditory system in the laboratory of George Martin, Ph.D. in the Department of Anatomy, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. In 1983, he accepted a position teaching neuroanatomy and human gross anatomy in the Department of Anatomy at the University of New England. Since 1983, he has been voted Faculty of the Year six times and received a Recognition Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Class of 2006. In 1985, he accepted the position of Director of Medical Curriculum, which he held until 1997. Dr. Willard's laboratory is focused on two aspects of spine and pelvic pain. The first project involves the development of adequate and safe landmarks for the fluoroscopic guidance of percutaneous radiofrequency neurotomy and interspinal translaminar and transforaminal injections for spine-related pain patterns. The second project is aimed at elucidating the role of myofascial and ligamentous structures in the normal support of the lumbopelvic girdle and degenerative changes in these structures that accompany the ontogeny of chronic lumbopelvic pain patterns.


Assistant Professor Biomedical Sciences, COM
University of New England
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Dr. Willis is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of New England. He received a Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from the University of London for his research on the excitotoxic properties of a naturally occurring glutamate analogue. This work led to a postdoctoral position at the University of Montana working on the excitotoxic properties of novel conformationally constrained glutamate analogues. These studies were used at the Universities Leicester and Nottingham to understand the novel observation that a NMDA receptor antagonist (MK-801) induced excitotoxic damage in specific brain regions. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nottingham, Dr. Willis developed research into the mechanisms controlling the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This work used immunofluorescence and tracer studies with confocal microscopy analysis to investigate the contribution astrocytes play in maintaining the integrity of the rat BBB. In the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona this work was applied to investigation of intracellular signaling mechanisms regulating tight junction protein expression under hypoxic stress. These studies attracted extramural funding from the American Heart Association and the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission, with Dr. Willis as PI. Now at the University of New England, Dr. Willis, in collaboration with Dr. Meng (University of New England) and Dr. Porecca (University of Arizona) is studying the role of the BBB in pain, especially in a model of medication-induced headache. These studies are currently funded by the Migraine Research Foundation and form part of a pending inter college COBRE application. In summary, Dr. Willis has demonstrated a record of successful and productive research projects in areas that have immense clinical relevance to many CNS disorders and to drug delivery.