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

Laboratory Staff

Joshua Levitt

Clinical Research Program Coordinator

Muhammad M Edhi

Clinical Research Coordinator

In the News

Muhammad Edhi MD, Research Coordinator for Dr. Carl Saab’s lab, has received a very prestigious 2019 Trainee Professional Development Award (TPDA) from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), for his research titled, “An EEG-AI classifier of Chronic Pain.” The TPDA is a year-long professional development award program, awarded to 193 young researchers from around the globe who demonstrate scientific merit and excellence in their research. Awardees presented their research at Neuroscience 2019 in Chicago and include 114 graduate students, 71 postdoctoral fellows, and eight undergraduates representing 133 institutions across 30 different countries. SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. He also received a Future in Neurological Research Award from the American Academy of Neurology and a one year scholarship from Harvard Medical School to attend their Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program.

October Neurosurgery Research News Updates

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