2016 Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award
Sean Mackey, MD PhD
Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, is Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology, Neurosciences and Neurology at Stanford University. Dr. Mackey has devoted his medical and scientific career to relieving pain and suffering. This dedication is encapsulated in the Stanford Pain Division's mission statement: "To predict, prevent and alleviate pain through science, education and compassion." He has also led national efforts to improve the care of people suffering from pain.
Dr. Mackey received his BSE and MSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as his MD, from the University of Arizona. He completed his residency at Stanford and joined the faculty in 1999. He became the Chief of the Pain Division in 2007, overseeing the clinical, research and educational missions. Under Dr. Mackey's leadership, the Stanford Pain Management Center has been designated a Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society, one of only two centers at Stanford to receive this honor twice. This award was bestowed due to the Center's innovative approach in comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and outcomes-based care.
Under Dr. Sean Mackey's leadership, researchers at the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory (SNAPL) have made major advances in the understanding of chronic pain as a disease in its own right, one that fundamentally alters the nervous system. He has served as principle investigator on multiple NIH awards where he has overseen efforts to map the specific regions of the brain and spinal cord that perceive and process pain. These efforts led to the development of a multidisciplinary treatment model that translates basic science research into innovative therapies to provide more effective, personalized treatments for patients with chronic pain. Dr. Mackey is author of over 100 journal articles and book chapters in addition to numerous national and international lectures. Currently, he is developing and disseminating a free, open-source learning health system—CHOIR— to transform the care of people with pain, and serve as a platform for research in real-world clinic patients.
Dr. Mackey was a member of the Institutes of Medicine's committee that issued the report on Relieving Pain in America. He is currently Co-Chair of the Oversight Committee for the NIH/Health and Human Services National Pain Strategy, an effort to establish a national health strategy for pain care, education and research. He has won multiple awards including, most recently, the NIH Directors' Award in 2015 and the American Pain Society Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award in 2016. He is currently the Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.