Team photo

What we do

Our research focuses on translational research in neuropathic pain, particularly in the contexts of infectious disease (HIV, Herpes zoster, HTLV-1 and leprosy), diabetes and other polyneuropathies, and nerve damage related to conflict/military service.  

Our main research themes are:  

  • Preclinical evidence synthesis and methods development (systematic review and meta-analysis), especially as pertains to drug development 
  • Improving internal and external validity, and rigour in the use of animal models in pain research 
  • Deep phenotyping of patient cohorts with a  view to enabling precision medicine approaches for the treatment of neuropathic. Much of this work is delivered in a collaborative manner with other groups.
  • Clinical evidence synthesis and trial methods 
  • Developing clinical pain management within the concept of Integrated Rehabilitation  
  • Pain management and teaching in low & middle income countries, with a focus on South and Southeast Asia  
  • Applied history, with a focus on 20th century conflicts  

Why it is important

The Global Burden of Disease studied has shown that, along with mental health, chronic pain is the leading cause of disease burden (Years Lost to Disability) worldwide. Neuropathic pain is a major sub-type of chronic pain defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain as Pain directly caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory system (ICD11 - MG30.5). Significant, quality of life impacting, neuropathic pain has a population prevalence of between 7 and 10%, making it an important public health problem. In the absence of disease modifying therapies the clinical management of neuropathic pain is focussed around accurate diagnosis, full assessment of the patient as an individual and pharmacological approaches for symptom control, all of which we seek to improve through our research strategy. This is an area of therapeutic need:  current pharmacological options are of modest efficacy, associated with significant adverse effects and responses are difficult to predict at an individual patient level. Furthermore, non-pharmacological approaches for neuropathic pain management are under-explored and under-employed, partially within the context of an interdisciplinary team approach to integrated rehabilitation.  

Additional information

Collaborators

Internal:  
External 

For patients

Clinical Trials 

Currently running clinical trials are on hold due to COVID-19. 

Experiments 

We regularly run experiments in healthy volunteersand patients. These experiments enable us to explore differences in how people respond to stimuli such as pressure or temperature.   

Participate in our work 

We value patient and public participation in the design and conduct of our work. In addition to clinical trials and experiments, we also run various surveys, literature reviews and focus groups which may be of interest to lay participants, early-career researchers and clinical academics.  

If you are interested in participating in our work, please contact Dr Donna Kennedy. 


Our researchers

PhD students

Alex Kumar

Alex Kumar

Alex Kumar

David Hohenschurz-Schmidt

David Hohenschurz-Schmidt

David Hohenschurz-Schmidt

Nadia Soliman

Nadia Soliman

Nadia Soliman

Sarah Dixon Smith

Sarah Dixon Smith

Sarah Dixon Smith

Xue Ying Zhang

Xue Ying Zhang

Xue Ying Zhang

Honorary group members