The Center of Biomedical Research Excellence
for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function

The UNE Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function was established in 2012 through funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The Center’s mission is to significantly contribute to the scientific understanding of the neurobiology of chronic pain, facilitating the discovery and development of novel therapies. The primary focus of the Center is to provide support to several junior scientists as they establish independent, extramurally funded research programs.


  1. Create a critical mass of neuroscience researchers necessary to sustain a vibrant and competitive research center. The center supports four promising junior scientists, administers a pilot project grant program to fund additional investigators, and provides start-up funds for the recruitment of new faculty.
  2. Expand neuroscience research infrastructure, providing core facilities that allow investigators to carry out cutting-edge research. Two core facilities, the Behavioral Core and the Histology and Imaging Core, provide researchers access to specialized instrumentation and equipment, as well as the training and expertise needed to use it. In addition, the Center is sponsoring the renovation of laboratory space specifically designed for the assessment of animal behavior.

Advisory Committees

The Center is pleased to enlist the advice and expertise of its internal and external advisory committees. The internal advisory committee is comprised of exceptional scientists and leaders from within the University of New England community. The external advisory committee includes internationally-recognized scientists who are leaders in the areas of sensory neurobiology, pain and drug discovery.  Both committees will be essential in building a vibrant and competitive research center that promotes the health sciences at UNE.

Internal Advisory Committee

James Koelbl, D.D.S., M.S., M.J.​, Provost and Dean of the College of Dental Medicine

Douglas L. Wood, D.O., Ph.D., FACOI, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs

Edward Bilsky, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Scholarship; Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine

Ian Meng, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine; Director of the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences

External Advisory Committee

Yves De Koninck, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Laval Université, Quebec, Canada

Jon Levine, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, University of California, San Francisco

Frank PorrecaPh.D.Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona

Don Wojchowski, Ph.D., Director of the Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Scarborough, Maine