Future Leaders in Pain Research
2011 Grant Recipient: Claudia Campbell, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Determining the Role of Stress Hormones, Inflammatory Markers and Sleep on Ethnic Disparities in Pain Perception
Please state which institution you are currently conducting research.
Johns Hopkins University
How did receiving the Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant impact your career in pain research?
My goal is to develop a systematic program of research that investigates the mechanisms by which individual differences and psychosocial processes influence pain-related outcomes. I believe that more rigorous, mechanistic understanding of the relationship between pain-related processes and the experience of pain will facilitate the refinement and development of both psychosocial interventions designed to enhance the quality of life of individuals with chronic pain, but also novel biologic conceptualizations therapies that more fully elucidate the pathophysiology of persistent pain states. The APS Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant is providing me the opportunity to analyze inflammatory cytokines and stress hormones in my recently completed and ongoing work. The specific, funded study focused on how novel biomarkers are related to ethnic differences in experimental pain. I recently presented these data at a symposiumthe at the APS meeting in New Orleans and am completing a manuscript to be submitted this summer highlighting these results. These data are also providing valuable pilot data towards my first R01 grant to be submitted this Fall.
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.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, where my research focuses on biobehavioral aspects of acute and chronic pain. My primary research interests and career objectives relate to understanding the mechanisms underpinning the impact of individual differences and psychosocial factors on pain-related outcomes. One of the APS’ goals is to reduce pain-related suffering. In particular, I study individual differences in pain responses and the neurobiological mechanisms by which psychosocial processes shape those individual differences. My current NIH-funded work focuses on assessment of risk factors for persistent pain and the neurobiologic processes, which link these risk factors to pain-related clinical outcomes. My current work investigate the behavioral and psychosocial processes that are influential in shaping post-operative outcomes and tests whether endogenous opioid function mediates the association between psychosocial risk, post-operative pain and medication usage.My work also examines the contribution of psychosocial (e.g., depression, cognitive processes, catastrophizing and sleep disturbance) as their relationship to poor outcomes are increasingly recognized, but poorly understood, particularly with respect to how these factors confer heightened risk for the development and maintenance of persistent pain. In particular, I’m interested in the impact of pain-related catastrophizing on neuroendocrine and inflammatory responses to pain, as well as individual differences in central nervous system pain processing and their implications for long-term pain-related outcomes. I am also involved in several studies that use quantitative sensory testing to assess the psychophysical processes involved in chronic pain states, including osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, sickle cell disease and Temporomandibular joint disorder to further our understanding and management of chronic pain.
Are you still an APS member? If yes, do you feel that it has been of value to your professional development?
Yes, of course. APS membership has been tremendously valuable to my professional development. I joined the society in 2002 as an undergraduate obtaining research experience. The society does an outstanding job facilitating the careers of young researchers, and afforded me the opportunity to travel to national meetings through the Young Investigator Award. This is of exceptional value and importance for fostering interest in pain research to early stage investigators. In addition to providing exposure to the latest findings in pain research, APS meetings offer the invaluable opportunity to meet some of the leading researchers in the field. I attended the Fundamentals of Pain Management course which opened my eyes to the complexity of treating pain and gave me a new appreciation for the challenges of pain patients. For pain psychologists like myself, it is wonderful to attend and take part of such a diverse and multidisciplinary meeting. In addition, being the recipient of an APS Future Leaders in Pain Research small grant has been immensely helpful in providing pilot data that will be used to obtain NIH funding for future work.