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.