Future Leaders in Pain Research
2012 Grant Recipient: Burel R. Goodin, PhD
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin Pain Sensitivity, Endogenous Pain Processing and Mood: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study
Please state which institution you are currently conducting research.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Departments of Psychology and Anesthesiology
How did receiving the Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant impact your career in pain research?
Receiving the Future Leaders in Pain Research award from APS was especially exciting because the grant represented the first ever extramural funding awarded to me for the conduct of my research. This award has significantly impacted my career by providing the opportunity for me to showcase my ability to independently conduct research, and that (hopefully) I am worthy of additional funding in the future. Personally, I feel that this award has marked my arrival on the scene in the pain research field. Since receiving this grant, there have been many people within APS and beyond who were interested to know about the results of my research. After completing the study I spent several months talking with other pain researchers about how to apply my findings and incorporate them into a grant proposal. The products of these discussions have been a manuscript submitted for publication as well as a grant submitted to the NIH for consideration of additional funding.
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 currently spend the majority of my research effort working on two different pain-related projects. The first project, which was funded by the Future Leaders in Pain Research grant, is a study examining the effects of intranasal oxytocin on pain sensitivity and pain-related mood factors such as anxiety. Previous animal studies have shown decreased pain sensitivity following the administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Furthermore, oxytocin has well documented anxiolytic properties that decrease stress levels. I want to know if this evidence from animal models translates to humans. The second project I am currently working on is a minority aging study that looks at how sleep impacts the experience of pain. Sleep and pain disorders have previously been shown to disproportionately affect ethnic minorities, and the prevalence of sleep and pain disorders often increases with advancing age. Furthermore, poor sleep is a potent predictor of increased pain sensitivity. My study is attempting to determine if older ethnic minorities are at greater risk of poor sleep and whether this poor sleep, in turn, predicts greater pain sensitivity. Upon conclusion of these two projects, the plan is to take what is learned and incorporate it into applications for NIH funding to continue the respective lines of investigation.
Are you still an APS member? If yes, do you feel that it has been of value to your professional development?
I am absolutely still a member of APS, and plan to be one for many years to come. APS has been instrumental to my professional development. Each year I meet more and more people at the annual conference, which opens up the possibility for new and exciting collaborations. Through my membership and involvement in APS, I definitely feel as if I am part of a greater community of scientists all working toward a common goal. Perhaps most important to me, I constantly receive offers of support and assistance from other APS members. This helps me to know that APS and its members are dedicated to helping me succeed in my career.