Skip to main content
Explore URMC

Robert H. Dworkin, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-8214

Faculty Appointments


Professional Background

1. Adjunct Senior Scientist, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain Management,
Hospital for Special Surgery Research Institute, New York, NY
2. Director, Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks, and Pediatric Anesthesia Safety Initiative (ACTTION/PASI) public-private partnership with the FDA []
3. Associate Editor: Pain
4. Editorial Boards: Canadian Journal of Pain, Journal of Pain


My major research interests are (1) methodologic aspects of analgesic clinical trials and (2) treatment and prevention of chronic and acute neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. The primary focus of my current research involves the identification of factors that increase the assay sensitivity of randomized clinical trials to detect differences between an efficacious treatment and a placebo control or comparison intervention. In ongoing studies, we are evaluating the research designs and methods, clinical outcome assessments, and statistical analyses used in clinical trials of treatments for acute and chronic pain. These studies and other efforts to improve the efficiency and informativeness of clinical trials of analgesic, anesthetic, and addiction interventions are being conducted under the auspices of the ACTTION public-private partnership with the FDA, of which I serve as Director.
I have also been very interested in identifying risk factors for the transition from acute to chronic pain and in evaluating interventions that have the potential to prevent chronic 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 the development of chronic pain, and designing and conducting studies to test this hypothesis has been another focus of my efforts.

Current funding
1. FDA, U01FD007702 (9/20/22-8/31/27): Analgesic, anesthetic, and addiction clinical trial translations, innovations, opportunities, and networks and pediatric anesthesia safety initiative (ACTTION/PASI) (PD/PI)
2. NIH/NINDS, U24 NS113850 (9/30/19-8/31/24): Clinical coordinating center for the HEAL initiative Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (MPI: 2019-2021; Co-I: 2021-2024)

Google Scholar metrics
h-index: 102
Citations: > 55,000



BA | University of Pennsylvania
Psychology, Sociology

PhD | Harvard University


John D. Loeser Prize for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in the Clinical Science of Pain
Sponsor: International Association for the Study of Pain

Founders Award
Sponsor: American Academy of Pain Medicine

Raymond W. Houde Award
Sponsor: Eastern Pain Association

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

Frontiers in Pain Lecture
Sponsor: McGill University

Advisory Committee Service Award
Sponsor: US Food and Drug Administration

Gunn-Loke Lecture
Sponsor: University of Washington

Wilbert Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award
Sponsor: American Pain Society

VIEW ALL expand_more


Journal Articles

Nayak SM, Bradley MK, Kleykamp BA, Strain EC, Dworkin RH, Johnson MW. "Control Conditions in Randomized Trials of Psychedelics: An ACTTION Systematic Review." The Journal of clinical psychiatry.. 2023 May 10; 84(3)Epub 2023 May 10.

Faber CG, Attal N, Lauria G, Dworkin RH, Freeman R, Dawson KT, Finnigan H, Hajihosseini A, Naik H, Serenko M, Morris CJ, Kotecha M. "Efficacy and safety of vixotrigine in idiopathic or diabetes-associated painful small fibre neuropathy (CONVEY): a phase 2 placebo-controlled enriched-enrolment randomised withdrawal study." EClinicalMedicine.. 2023 May; 59:101971. Epub 2023 Apr 27.

Zia FZ, Baumann MH, Belouin SJ, Dworkin RH, Ghauri MH, Hendricks PS, Henningfield JE, Lanier RK, Ross S, Berger A. "Are psychedelic medicines the reset for chronic pain? Preliminary findings and research needs." Neuropharmacology.. 2023 Apr 2; :109528. Epub 2023 Apr 02.