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Robert H. Dworkin, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Fax: (585) 244-7271

Office: (585) 275-8214


Professional Background

Director, Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTTION), a public-private partnership with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) []; Special Government Employee, FDA; Co-Chair, Acute to Chronic Pain Transition Working Group, Federal Pain Research Strategy; Professional Advisory Board, American Chronic Pain Association; Associate Editor, Pain; Editorial Boards, Journal of Pain, Canadian Journal of Pain, Current Pain and Headache Reports.


My major research interests are (1) methodologic aspects of analgesic clinical trials and (2) treatment and prevention of chronic neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. The primary focus of our current research involves the identification of factors that increase the assay sensitivity of clinical trials to detect differences between an active and a control or comparison treatment. In ongoing studies, we are examining the relationships between clinical trial results and their research designs, patient characteristics, and outcome measures. This program of research and other efforts to improve the efficiency and informativeness of analgesic clinical trials are being conducted under the auspices of the ACTTION public-private partnership with the FDA, of which I serve as director. In addition, in collaboration with Dennis Turk at the University of Washington, we are currently conducting a randomized clinical trial of tramadol, cognitive-behavior therapy, and health education alone and in combination for the treatment of fibromyalgia. I have also been very interested in the identification of risk factors for the development of chronic neuropathic pain. One of our major results has been that patients with greater acute pain are more likely to develop chronic pain. This suggests that attenuating acute pain might prevent chronic pain, and an additional focus of my research has involved developing approaches to test this hypothesis. CURRENT FUNDING (Principal Investigator): [1] FDA, U01 FD005936-01 (9/15/16-8/31/21): Analgesic, anesthetic, and addiction clinical trial translations, innovations, opportunities, and networks (ACTTION) public-private partnership; [2] NIH/NIAMS, R01 AR059102-01A (9/1/11-7/31/18): Combined behavioral and analgesic trial for fibromyalgia (COMBAT-FM); [3] FDA, HHSF223201400191C (9/30/14-9/29/17): Analysis of FDA clinical trial data to improve assay sensitivity and informativeness of analgesic clinical trials.


Faculty Appointments


PhD | Harvard University

BA | University of Pennsylvania


Mitchell B. Max Award for Neuropathic Pain
Sponsor: American Academy of Neurology

John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award
Sponsor: American Pain Society

John J. Bonica Award
Sponsor: Eastern Pain Association

Advisory Committee Service Award
Sponsor: US Food and Drug Administration

Wilbert Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award
Sponsor: American Pain Society

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Journal Articles

Gauthier LR, Dworkin RH, Warr D, Pillai Riddell R, Macpherson AK, Rodin G, Zimmermann C, Lawrence Librach S, Moore M, Shepherd FA, Gagliese L. "Age-Related Patterns in Cancer Pain and Its Psychosocial Impact: Investigating the Role of Variability in Physical and Mental Health Quality of Life." Pain medicine : the official journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.. 2017 Mar 3; Epub 2017 Mar 03.

Gewandter JS, Burke L, Cavaletti G, Dworkin RH, Gibbons C, Gover TD, Herrmann DN, McArthur Mb JC, McDermott MP, Rappaport BA, Reeve BB, Russell JW, Smith AG, Smith SM, Turk DC, Vinik AI, Freeman R. "Content validity of symptom-based measures for diabetic, chemotherapy, and HIV peripheral neuropathy." Muscle & nerve.. 2017 Mar 0; 55(3):366-372. Epub 2016 Dec 23.

Williams MR, Ward DS, Carlson D, Cravero J, Dexter F, Lightdale JR, Mason KP, Miner J, Vargo JJ, Berkenbosch JW, Clark RM, Constant I, Dionne R, Dworkin RH, Gozal D, Grayzel D, Irwin MG, Lerman J, O'Connor RE, Pandharipande P, Rappaport BA, Riker RR, Tobin JR, Turk DC, Twersky RS, Sessler DI. "Evaluating Patient-Centered Outcomes in Clinical Trials of Procedural Sedation, Part 1 Efficacy: Sedation Consortium on Endpoints and Procedures for Treatment, Education, and Research Recommendations." Anesthesia and analgesia.. 2017 Mar 0; 124(3):821-830.