2018 John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award
Jessica S. Merlin, MD PhD
Dr. Merlin received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania. She stayed at Penn for her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases, and then completed a palliative care fellowship at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In 2011, Dr. Merlin joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and in 2017, she joined the Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Merlin directs a Pain and Palliative Care clinic embedded in Pitt's HIV patient-centered medical home, something she also did for the 6 years she was at UAB. Her research also focuses on chronic pain in individuals with HIV. She currently holds a K23 career development award from the National Institutes of Health to develop and pilot test a behavioral intervention for chronic pain tailored to individuals with HIV, during which she pursued a PhD in Health Behavior (anticipated graduation December 2017). Her other ongoing projects include investigating the pathophysiology of chronic pain in individuals with HIV, including inflammation and pain sensitivity, the clinical epidemiology of chronic pain in individuals with HIV, and management approaches to concerning behaviors that arise among individuals on long-term opioid therapy.
The John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award was named in 1998 to honor the memory of John C. Liebeskind, PhD, a past president of APS who was a noted pain researcher, scientist, and teacher. The Early Career Scholar Award recognizes early career achievements that have made outstanding contributions to pain scholarship.