The Pain and Neural Circuits Laboratory


The Pain and Neural Circuits Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery of Rhode Island Hospital is dedicated to investigating brain diseases with a focus on pain as a window to the mind.

Pain is one of the most common symptoms that drive patients to seek medical care. Hence, the translational research in this laboratory includes clinical studies in collaboration with the Spine Center and the Migraine Center at Rhode Island Hospital, and basic science collaborations with academic departments at Brown University, such as neurosciences and engineering.

Our research is based on the insight that pain is not only a symptom of a disease or injury, but that certain forms of pain can be diseases in their own right. Our research efforts are geared towards elucidating the neural mechanisms of pain perception, which allows us to approach the problem of pain from a circuit perspective and to apply computational and engineering solutions.

One of our immediate goals is to find better ways to measure pain objectively by moving beyond the 0-10 verbal scale and validating neural ‘diagnostic’ signatures of pain. In addition, we seek to identify novel therapies and to optimize standard therapies guided by objective neural signatures.

Our laboratory personnel come from different backgrounds at the intersection of biology, medicine, biomedical engineering and visual arts.

Our Team

Laboratory Director

Carl Y. Saab, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Director, Pain and Neuro-Circuitry Laboratory

Laboratory Staff

Joshua Levitt

Clinical Research Program Coordinator

Muhammad M Edhi

Clinical Research Coordinator

In the News

Taking the Bias Out of Pain Diagnosis

A New Prognosis for Pain Care

University Researchers Develop New Method for Pain Analysis 

EEG Test Measures Pain Better Than ‘Smiley Face’ Scale

Discovery of Biomarkers to Develop Transformational Non-Opioid Therapeutics for Pain (Video)

New Test Objectively Measures Pain

Brown Researchers Develop New Test to Objectively Measure Pain, Test Medications

593 Eddy Street
Aldrich Building, 4th floor
Providence RI 02903
Phone: (401) 793-9128
Fax: (401) 444-2661