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. 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 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 (as 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. FDA, HHSF223201400191C (9/30/14-9/29/19): Analysis of FDA clinical trial data to improve assay sensitivity and informativeness of analgesic clinical trials
3. NIH/NIAMS, R01 AR059102-01A (9/1/11-7/31/18): Combined behavioral and analgesic trial for fibromyalgia (COMBAT-FM)