Future Leaders in Pain Research
2010 Grant Recipient: Kimberly T. Sibille, PhD
University of Florida
Effects of Chronic Pain and Psychosocial Stress on Telomere Length and Telomerase Activity
Please state which institution you are currently conducting research?
University of Florida
How did receiving the Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant impact your career in pain research?
The funding through the American Pain Society has provided the support needed both financially and professionally in developing a strong foundation from which to pursue my research goals and career intentions.
What is your current research focus? Briefly describe the importance of this work and how it advances the APS goals, mission, and your own personal development.
Osteoarthritis (OA), a leading cause of chronic pain and disability, is characterized by significant individual variability. Current clinical measures offer limited utility in predicting disease progression and disability. Pain is recognized as a primary factor contributing to functional limitations in OA. Psychosocial stress can contribute to the onset and exacerbation of chronic pain and living with chronic pain can propel increased psychosocial stress. The aims of the current study are to: 1) better understand the interaction between biological processes, chronic pain, and psychosocial variables in older and ethnically diverse adults; 2) identify resilience and vulnerability factors associated with knee OA conditions; and 3) determine the potential clinical and predictive utility of telomere measures. My research interests are in the biological interface of chronic pain and stress with focus on aging, ethnic differences, and resilience factors. Overall research objectives are to 1) elucidate biological markers of system burden in OA and other pain-related conditions, 2) delineate behavioral and social targets for prevention and treatment of chronic pain, and 3) establish a composite of biomarkers for evaluating the efficacy of clinical interventions. The funding provided by APS is helping generate important information contributing to my overall research objectives which align with the mission and vision of the organization, reducing and/or preventing pain-related suffering.
Are you still an APS member? If yes, do you feel that it has been of value to your professional development?
I am a current member of APS, which I find provides the infrastructure, educational opportunities, and professional networking to that is important for advancing the field of pain research.