Past events

A need for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the grant funding process has been increasingly recognized. In response, many grantmaking organizations have expressed their commitment to DEI through enhanced funding priorities, as well as considering a grant proposal’s attention to DEI when making funding decisions (e.g., the makeup of the research team, involvement of community organizations, and consideration of health inequities within the research strategy). While encouraging, many researchers lack clarity on how DEI components are evaluated within review sessions and the best strategies for embedding a DEI focus within a grant application. The purpose of this professional development event will be to hear from grant makers regarding their organizations’ specific priorities related to DEI and how DEI content is being evaluated within the grant review process.

Members can watch a recording of the event here

Shared Resources 


Speaker Bios 

Dr. Cheryse Sankar: As a Program Director in the Office of Global Health and Health Disparities, Dr. Sankar has a diverse research portfolio covering topics related to advancing health equity in pain management and health disparities in neurological disorders and stroke. Prior to her current role, Dr. Sankar was in the NINDS Office of Pain Policy and Planning as a senior science policy analyst where she organized the annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium, served as a program officer on the Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures Common Fund Program, initiated and co-led a Disparities and Diversity in pain research workgroup and ongoing efforts related to health equity in pain management through the NIH HEAL Initiative.  Dr. Sankar was an AAAS Science & Technology Policy fellow in 2011-2012 at the National Cancer Institute in the Division of Cancer Control & Population Science's Behavioral Research Program. She first joined NIH as a NINDS IRTA (intramural research training associate) then received a PRAT (Pharmacology Research Associate) fellowship in the NINDS Molecular Pharmacology Section where she published work on functional properties of the D3 dopamine receptor antagonists. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Sankar received her bachelors' degrees in Chemistry and Biology from UC Irvine and her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Michigan where she focused on mechanisms of the dopamine reward pathway. 


Dr. Vivian L. Towe is a Senior Program Officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and is trained as a social epidemiologist. She has a background in program evaluation, community-partnered research, social determinants of health, and health equity. At PCORI, she oversees a portfolio with a range of studies in topical areas representing Achieve Health Equity, one of PCORI's National Priorities for Health. She is currently leading a health equity-focused funding announcement seeking comparative effectiveness research addressing health systems factors and social determinants of maternal health and conducted through shared leadership between communities and researchers. Prior to coming to PCORI, she was a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, where she worked on a range of topic areas, including HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, disaster recovery, homelessness, and care coordination.  


Dr. Crystal Henderson is a Scientific Program Manager (SPM) for the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office in Washington D.C. She manages the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Rural Health, and Complimentary/Integrative Health portfolios within Health Services Research & Development (HSRD). Dr. Henderson’s research background includes working as a research program manager with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA) for nearly two decades. Since 2005, Dr. Henderson has participated in countless federal research studies and program evaluations that cover a myriad of topics within the VHA system. In addition to her passion for research, she has served as a professor at several colleges and universities. Dr. Henderson completed her EdD in Higher Education Administration from The University of Alabama where her expertise lies in diversity, equity, and inclusion within organizations. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, watching movies, listening to music, and watching sports (especially her beloved Alabama Crimson Tide)! Dr. Henderson currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA with her husband and one year old son.







On January 25th the Editor in Chief, Tonya Palermo, and Associate Editors joined USASP to help attendees understand the “behind the scenes” process of publishing in the JoP.  Learn common issues that arise with articles that are not accepted for publication and how you can improve your submitted work.  


Members can access a recording of this meeting here


Neil Andrews: Neil Andrews is a science journalist and editor based in New York City. With an undergraduate degree in neuroscience, and a graduate degree in science journalism from Boston University, he has over two decades of experience covering science and medicine for expert and non-expert audiences alike. Neil is currently the executive editor of AMD (The Association of Migraine Disorders)'s Migraine Science Collaborative (MSC), where he manages the day to day operations of the site, including its journalistic efforts and development of new web site features and programs. Previous to his current role, Neil was the executive editor of the Pain Research Forum.
Janelle Letzen: Dr. Janelle Letzen is a Health Science Policy Analyst in the Office of Pain Policy and Planning at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). She completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida and her postdoctoral training in biobehavioral pain mechanisms at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Prior to joining NINDS, Janelle held a faculty position for two years in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at JHU where she conducted research on biopsychosocial mechanisms of chronic pain treatment responses, particularly among marginalized groups.
Candler Paige: Dr. Candler Paige is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Doloromics. She received her doctorate in cognition and neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas where her work focused identifying sex-specific therapeutic targets. During her doctorate Candler received numerous awards including a DSPAN fellowship from the NIH. In 2020 Doloromics was spun-out from UT Dallas with Drs. Ted Price and Jackson Brougher. Since the founding, Candler has led Doloromics through the Illumina Accelerator, a team expansion, and the initiation of a drug discovery program. Prior to Doloromics, Candler received her B.S. in Biology and Neuroscience from the University of South Carolina and worked as a lab manager where she focused on gene therapies for chronic pain treatment.
Laura Wandner (guest speaker for the networking session only): Dr. Laura D. Wandner is a Program Officer in the Office of Pain Policy and Planning at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). She manages programs within the Acute to Chronic Pain Signature Program (A2CPS) and the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative (HEAL).  She also leads the HEAL Initiative’s Common Data Element (CDE) initiative.  Dr. Wandner, a clinical health psychologist, continues to treat pain patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). Prior to joining NINDS, Dr. Wandner held the position of clinical pain psychologist at WRNMMC.  Dr. Wandner’s past research focused primarily on assessing how demographic characteristics impact providers’ pain management services; how patients and providers can use technology in pain.
Rui Li: Dr. Rui Li is a postdoctoral fellow at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She received her PhD degree in Epidemiology from the University of Rochester and her bachelor’s degree in Preventive Medicine from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. Ser currently serves as the Co-Chair for the USASP Pain Epidemiology Special Interest Group (SIG) and is a past member of the USASP Education and Professional Development Committee.

Members can view a recording of this event here. 

Resources related to this seminar can be found here.


The United States Association for the Study of Pain is inviting you to participate in a webinar titled Social Media for Professionals: Getting Started Now! This eventwill be held on October, 26th (3-4pm EST/12-1pm PST) with a networking event immediately following the presentation (4-5pm EST/1-2pm PST) on Gather.Town.

This event will consist of a short introductory presentation by the USASP Communications Committee on how to get started using social media platforms for professionals followed by a panel discussion that will share some tips and tricks. This is intended as an introductory seminar that will prepare attendees for a more in-depth workshop that will be offered during the upcoming Annual Scientific Meeting in April 2023. 

Read about the panelists' experience with social media platforms and total time on those platforms below. 


Andrea Nackley, PhD (Duke University) 

  • Twitter (1 year)

Nathaniel Hernandez, PhD (Duke University)

  • Twitter (1.5 years) - Nackley Lab, USASP Sex Differences SIG, Journal of Pain

  • Twitter/ Instagram assistant - Duke Swimming & Diving (≈4 years) 

  • Podcast guest - Blue Devil 360 (2 episodes)

  • LinkedIn (3 Years) - Personal account & 1 virtual workshop (Creating Your CV/Resume & Job Interview Tips) in April 2022

Peter Grace, PhD (UT MD Anderson Cancer Center)

  • Twitter (10 years)

Rachel Zoffness, PhD (UCSF, Stanford)

  • Twitter and Instagram (3 years)

Tyler Bell, PhD (UCSD). 

  • Facebook (12 years)

  • Linked In (8 years)

  • Instagram for (6 years)

  • Twitter (3 years) 

ModeratorJennifer Haythornthwaite, PhD (Johns Hopkins University) 

Members can view a recording of this event here

Event Summary

Powerpoint Slides



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