home - Jobs - Ph.D. Positions
 

Notice Board Topics

Wellcome Trust conference The Challenges of Chronic Pain

11-13 March 2015
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

Abstract deadline: 30 January 2015
Registration deadline: 16 February 2015

For more information
click here

Europain consortium receives EU and industry funding and begins five year research into better treatments for chronic pain Europain, a public-private consortium funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), announced today the launch of a five-year research project to understand and improve treatment of chronic pain. The project will receive 6M€ from the IMI as well as 12.5M€ in kind contribution from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) over the coming five years.

One in five adults suffers from chronic pain. This constitutes a major cause of long-term sick leave and forced early retirement, placing a great financial burden on both individuals and healthcare systems. Despite extensive research programmes by biopharmaceutical companies and academia, there remains a need for treatments that are more effective and with fewer side-effects.

Europain has established an international team of leading researchers and clinicians from both academia and industry to undertake multidisciplinary translational research. This team aims to increase the understanding of chronic pain mechanisms, help to develop novel analgesics, and develop better biomarkers for pain. Their ultimate goal is to improve the lives of people suffering from chronic pain.

During the five-year project, Europain will undertake a large number of preclinical and clinical studies. The program will be delivered through collaboration between laboratories in the Europain network, sharing resources to improve the value derived from the budget. Results will be made public during and after the project, ensuring that the knowledge created can be widely applied to the development of better therapies for patients suffering from chronic pain.

King’s College London, the managing entity of Europain and the academic lead institution will contribute to both the pre-clinical and clinical aspects of the project. One role will be to study the expression of potential pain mediators in both animal models of pain and samples from patients suffering from chronic pain. The role of novel pain mediators will then be investigated using an array of techniques ranging from cell culture to quantitative sensory testing in humans.

Professor Steve McMahon, who along with Dr Dave Bennett will be running the project at King’s, comments: ‘There are some big questions facing the pain field at the moment and this consortium, drawing on the skills and expertise of both academia and industry, is in a unique position to address them’.

The consortium network involves scientists representing 12 renowned European Universities: King’s College London (Academic lead), University College London, Imperial College London, the University of Oxford, the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, the Medical Faculty Mannheim/Heidelberg University, the Technische Universität München, the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil/Ruhr University Bochum, the University Hospitals of Aarhus, Rigshospitalet Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark, the SME Neuroscience Technologies from Barcelona, and the research resources and expertise of Europe’s most active pharmaceutical companies working in the field of analgesics, including AstraZeneca (co-ordinator), Boehringer-Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Esteve, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB Pharma.

About the Innovative Medicines Initiative

IMI is a unique Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the pharmaceutical industry represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the European Union represented by the European Commission.
www.imi.europa.eu.
Summer School, June 2009 Photos from the London Pain Consortium Summer School, held 21st-26th June 2009 in El Escorial, Madrid, Spain.

There are currently no summer schools scheduled. Please continue to check the website for updates.
 
Ph.D. Positions
Why do a PhD in pain research?
In the past two decades pain has become one of the most exciting fields of nervous system research. Pain is required for maintaining the integrity and survival of the organism but sustained or chronic pain can result in secondary symptoms such as anxiety and depression and can dramatically decrease quality of life. CNS areas that are activated by pain-producing stimuli show remarkable plasticity. Noxious stimulation always results in changes in gene expression within the central nervous system and different chronic pain states generate unique neurochemical and pharmacological signatures in the brain. New insights into how sensory information is centrally processed in the face of a constantly changing molecular architecture will fundamentally change the way we approach pain control and develop new analgesics. Pain is also a model system for many fundamental questions in neurobiology, such as specification of cellular phenotype, formation of appropriate connections, maintenance of stability in normal function, mechanisms underlying plasticity, and the processes leading to disintegration of normal function during aging and disease.
The recent rapid progress in pain research has been driven by molecular and cell biology. These techniques continue to identify genes potentially important in pain processing, and have stimulated the search for novel analgesic drugs as well as promoting understanding of a number of general neurobiological phenomena, such as activity-dependent plasticity. Yet the function of these genes often remains poorly understood, even though there is now a wide range of transgenic mice which allow examination of particular gene function in the whole animals. The challenge for the future is to combine cellular and molecular advances with physiological and pharmacological techniques to understand the integrated functioning of the nervous system related to the clinical problem of pain.