Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Research Postgraduate







Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





David is in the final year of his PhD at the Pain Group of Prof Andrew Rice, co-supervised by Dr Jerry Draper-Rodi from University College of Osteopathy (UCO). He holds Masters' degrees in Osteopathy from UCO (2014) and Neuroscience from King's College London (2018), both completed with distinction.

David's PhD project seeks to study and improve clinical trial designs for non-pharmacological pain therapies, focusing on control interventions and real-world generalisability. As part of his project, David has links to Prof Lene Vase in Aarhus, DK, Dr Whitney Scott at King's College London, and the Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT) in the US. He has completed two large systematic reviews of methods, forming the basis of a consensus-finding and feasibility-testing process to critique and advance clinical trial methods in the field.

Of note, David is leading an international efforts to develop guidelines for the design, implementation, and reporting of (sham) control interventions in clinical trials of physical, psychological, and self-management interventions. This guideline is likely to be published in late 2022. 

Following this, David will focus on intervention development for people living with painful diabetic neuropathy. To do so, he has been awarded a Travel Fellowship of the Society for Back Pain Research (SBPR) and a £20,000 research grant by The Osteopathic Foundation, supporting a new collaboration with Prof Esther Pogatzki-Zahn (University of Münster, GER), A/Prof Annina Schmid (Oxford University), and Dr Esther Williamson (Oxford University). During this project, a control intervention will be developed following the newly produced guidance, and a feasibility trial conducted.

Outside his PhD, David is interested in digital therapeutics, for example as part of a consulting role for a start-up company. A previous research interest is the role of the autonomic nervous system in pain, having studied this topic using fMRI and Heart Rate Variability at King's under Drs Elena Makovac and Matt Howard.

David also maintains some clinical practice as an osteopath, working with people living with musculoskeletal and persistent pain. He is a committee member of the Society for Back Pain Research, and a member of the International Association for the Study of Pain's 2023 Global Year Task Force on integrative pain care. In 2020, he received the Community of Practice Award by the Institute of Osteopathy, UK, for his leading role in facilitating the transition to video and phone consultations for musculoskeletal practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also teaches osteopathy students, in particular clinical reasoning and communication, pain, and autonomic neuroscience, and has set up Germany's first teaching clinic for osteopathy in Berlin in 2014-2017.

In 2022, David was awarded the New Investigator's Award by the Society for Back Pain Research for his work on control interventions in physical, psychological, and self-management trials.

Grants, Awards and Scholarships

New Investigator's Award, Society for Back Pain Research, 2022

Research Grant, The Osteopathic Foundation, £20,000, 2022

Travel Fellowship of the Society for Back Pain Research, 2021

Community of Practice Award, Institute of Osteopathy, 2020

PhD Studentship, Alan and Sheila Diamond Charitable Trust, 2019

RK Hardy Prize for Research, University College of Osteopathy, 2014

Scholarship of the German Business Foundation (sdw), 2012-2014

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Hohenschurz-Schmidt D, Draper-Rodi DJ, Vase PL, et al., 2022, Blinding and sham control methods in trials of physical, psychological, and self-management interventions for pain (article II): a meta-analysis relating methods to trial results, Pain, ISSN:0304-3959

Hohenschurz-Schmidt D, Draper-Rodi DJ, Vase PL, et al., 2022, Blinding and sham control methods in trials of physical, psychological, and self-management interventions for pain (Article I): a systematic review and description of methods, Pain, Vol:Publish Ahead of Print, ISSN:0304-3959

Draper-Rodi J, Vaucher P, Hohenschurz-Schmidt D, et al., 2022, 4 M's to make sense of evidence - Avoiding the propagation of mistakes, misinterpretation, misrepresentation and misinformation, International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, Vol:44, ISSN:1746-0689, Pages:29-35

Hohenschurz-Schmidt D, Kleykamp BA, Draper-Rodi J, et al., 2022, Pragmatic trials of pain therapies, Pain, Vol:163, ISSN:0304-3959, Pages:21-46

Evans M, Wade C, Hohenschurz-Schmidt D, et al., 2021, Magnetic resonance imaging as a biomarker in diabetic and HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy: A systematic review-based narrative, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol:15, ISSN:1662-453X

Hohenschurz-Schmidt D, Scott W, Park C, et al., 2020, Remote management of musculoskeletal pain: a pragmatic approach to the implementation of video and phone consultations in musculoskeletal practice, Pain Reports, Vol:5

Hohenschurz-Schmidt DJ, Calcagnini G, Dipasquale O, et al., 2020, Linking Pain Sensation to the Autonomic Nervous System: The Role of the Anterior Cingulate and Periaqueductal Gray Resting-State Networks, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol:14

More Publications