Past events

At the Intersection of Substance Use Disorder and Pain: Current and Future Directions

This 1-hour webinar explored current research in the fields of substance use disorder and pain with a focus on cannabis and polypharmacology. 


Nicholas Bush, MS is a 5th year doctoral student in neuroscience at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in the Minnesota Alcohol and Pain Lab (MAPL).  Mr. Bush's research focuses on measurement development, behavioral psychopharmacology and neuroimaging of pain and substance use. Beginning in the Fall, Mr. Bush will be transitioning to a postdoctoral position at Brown University in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. 

Presentation Title: A Brief Screening Tool for Risk of Self-Medication of Pain with Substance Use

Summary: Substance use and pain are both growing public health concerns globally. Evidence suggests that individuals may use substances in order to self-medicate their pain. The Catastrophizing, Anxiety, Negative Urgency, and Expectancy (CANUE) model was developed to provide a theoretical foundation for the modifiable risk factors implicated in self-medication of pain with substance use. This presentation will focus on using the outcomes from the CANUE model to develop and validate a brief clinical screening tool to identify individuals at risk for self-medication. 

Deondra Asike, MD is double board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. She is a Clinical Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force and deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan in 2013.  Dr. Asike is currently serving a second term on the Maryland Department of Health Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Advisory Board. Additionally, she chairs the Maryland Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council and The Maryland State Medical Society Cannabis Committee.  Dr. Asike is a certifying provider with the Maryland Cannabis Administration. In 2022 she founded National Pain ReLEAF, a consultation practice primarily focused on guiding both patients and members of their healthcare team through a safe and effective incorporation of cannabis into a comprehensive pain treatment.  

Presentation Title: Update on Evidence for Cannabis Use in Chronic Pain

Summary: There is growing support for cannabis legalization in the United States and cannabis use for the purposes of chronic pain management remains a top listed reason.  This presentation summarizes scientific findings published within the last 3-5 years regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for the purposes of chronic pain treatment. It will highlight key findings and takeaways from preclinical, clinical, and observational studies.  

Dr. Joao De Aquino is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and serves as the Assistant Chief of Psychiatry at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU). In addition to treating patients with substance use disorders, as a board-certified addiction psychiatrist, Dr. De Aquino is the Founding Director of the NIH-funded Pain and Addiction Neuroscience Interaction (PAIN) Lab. His work applies the techniques of behavioral pharmacology, multimodal assessment of pain, and clinical trials towards translating advances in neurobiology and improving the treatment of pain and addiction.

Presentation Title: Investigating the Intersection of Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Opioid Use Disorder: Clinical Perspectives and New Research Frontiers

Summary: I will present findings from a recently completed human laboratory study that examined the acute analgesic, subjective, and cognitive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, in individuals undergoing methadone therapy for opioid use disorder. This presentation will discuss the current state of evidence regarding cannabinoid-induced analgesia in this population and explore developing methodologies for assessing the balance between therapeutic benefits and adverse effects in opioid use disorder. 

Members can watch the recording here



The Intersection of Pain and Trauma: Current and Future Directions 

Date: Wednesday 2/28/24 
Time: 11am EST

Join us for a 1 hour webinar that explores current directions in the field of pain and trauma, as well as a discussion of where the field is going. The speakers, Drs. Anna Hood and Melanie Noel, will present on their current research and will lead a discussion with questions from audience members. Registrants are encouraged to submit questions for the speakers before the webinar to ensure they are answered during the discussion.

Dr Anna Hood is a lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester, and she is the Policy Director of the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology. Anna’s graduate and clinical training were completed in the US and UK. Her research focuses on the biological, psychological, and social challenges faced by pediatric patients living with pain. Her work has a particular focus on children and young adults with sickle cell disease and includes an anti-racism framework to eliminate pain inequities.

Melanie Noel, PhD, RPsych is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary and a Full Member of the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. She directs the PEAK (Pain Education, Advocacy, Knowledge) Research Laboratory within the Vi Riddell Pain & Rehabilitation Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Canada.

Dr. Noel’s expertise is on children’s memories for pain and co-occurring mental health issues and pediatric chronic pain. She published guiding conceptual models of children’s pain memory development, co-occurring PTSD and chronic pain, and fear-avoidance (190 peer-reviewed papers; H index = 44). In recognition of her contributions to advancing knowledge of the psychological aspects of children’s pain, Dr. Noel received early career awards from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the Canadian Pain Society, the American Pain Society, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Society of Pediatric Psychology. She was named Avenue Magazine Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 (Class of 2017), a Killam Emerging Research Leader (2020), and holds the inaugural the Killam Memorial Emerging Leader Chair (2021-2026). In 2022, she was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.

Members can watch the recording of this event here



The webinar focused on skills and tips for negotiating academic job offers in the early- through mid-career stages. The speakers, Drs. Burel Goodin and Jessica Merlin, had substantial experience in this area. Registrants could submit questions for panelists before the webinar to ensure they were answered during the discussion.

Members can watch a recording of this event here


Bridging Gaps in Pain and Medical Research Among Marginalized Communities: Reflections on the Past and Future Directions for Better Recruitment and Engagement

2023 Juneteenth Event

Members can watch a recording of this event here.

Event: June 22nd from 3:00-4:00pm ET

Join us for the USASP Juneteenth Seminar to learn and discuss the complex history of clinical research in marginalized communities, including past lessons and future opportunities. This webinar will also foster an open discussion on proactive strategies for greater inclusivity in pain research, particularly pertaining to recruitment, engagement and retention of marginalized individuals in clinical studies.


Anna Hood, PhD is a lecturer in the Division of Psychology and Mental Health and is a member of the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology. She is trained as a clinical psychologist and is licensed in the US and HCPC registered in the UK. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at UCL, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Her graduate and clinical training were completed in the US at Washington University in St. Louis, Children’s Minnesota, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She has been the recipient of pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the National Institutes of Health to fund research focused on the cognitive and psychological challenges faced by children and young adults with sickle cell disease. Specifically, her research aims to 1) promote self-management, patient engagement, and medication adherence, 2) identify interventions and the underlying neural mechanisms to improve cognitive impairments in patients with sickle cell disease, and 3) include an anti-racism framework in research, psychological treatments, and the clinical care of patients experiencing pain.

Jonathan Jackson, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Community Access, Recruitment, and Engagement (CARE) Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. CARE investigates the impact of diversity and inclusion on the quality of human subjects research and leverages deep community entrenchment to build trust and overcome barriers to clinical trial participation. His research focuses on midlife and late-life health disparities in clinical settings that affect underserved populations. Dr. Jackson also works as a cognitive neuroscientist, investigating the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in the absence of overt memory problems. He has become a well-known representative to underserved communities and dozens of affiliated organizations, particularly regarding participation in clinical research. Dr. Jackson serves on the leadership team of several organizations focused on community health, and has written guidance for local, statewide, and national groups on research access, engagement, and recruitment.

Cassandra Trimnell is a prominent advocate for individuals living with sickle cell disease,
renowned for her role as the founder and executive director of Sickle Cell 101 (SC101). As the
first child diagnosed with sickle cell disease through the Iowa Newborn Screening Program in
1987, Trimnell has dedicated her life to bridging knowledge gaps and addressing the needs of
the global sickle cell community. Under her leadership, SC101 has flourished, offering
unparalleled digital platforms that generate real-time community insights and patient experience
data. With over 50,000 followers from 115 countries, SC101's social media presence has
become a trusted resource, reaching millions annually. Recognized for her expertise, Trimnell
has received accolades, including the prestigious "Community Champion" award from the Sickle
Cell Disease Association of America. A sought-after speaker and consultant, she contributes
her patient advocacy to influential boards and committees, such as the NIH-NHLBI's Sickle Cell
Disease Advisory Committee and the American Society of Hematology's Sickle Cell Disease
Coalition. Trimnell's significant contributions encompass collaborations on impactful projects,
including the New England Journal of Medicine's "Sickle Cell and Gene Therapy Patient and
Physician Perspectives" video series and the NHLBI's Cure Sickle Cell Initiative. Her tireless
dedication and unwavering commitment have solidified her as a respected leader and advocate
for all stakeholders affected by sickle cell disease, inspiring innovation in education, research,
and awareness to improve the lives of countless individuals and families impacted by sickle cell.


Troy Dildine, PhD, is a T-32 Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University School of Medicine within the Pain Medicine division. Dr. Dildine obtained their PhD, focused on health disparities in pain, through the NIH Graduate Partnership Program between the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the Clinical Neuroscience Section at Karolinska Institute. Dr. Dildine’s research aims at tackling health disparities by 1) better understanding social and perceptual biases in medical providers and 2) identifying risk factors (e.g., discrimination and medical mistrust) and targets for intervention for more severe and frequent pain observed in marginalized patient populations. Dr. Dildine sits on several committees related to health equity and DEIA-related initiatives, including their current role as Social Media and Outreach Chair for the USASP Diversity, Inclusion, and Antiracism SIG.




Last Updated on Monday, June 26, 2023 03:37 PM

May 31st, 2023

USASP Panel Discussion on Pragmatic Clinical Trials in Pain Research

Members can watch a recording of this event here

Event: 3:00-4:00pm ET
Networking Event: 4:00-5:00pm ET (Gather.Town)

Join us for a educational session on pragmatic trials featuring Dr. Keefe, Dr. Sluka, Dr. Hastings, and Dr. Bayman. This multi-disciplinary panel discussion will be led by Dr. George and we invite members to submit questions in advance with the following article as starting point for conversation. This session is being co-hosted by the Pain, Movement, and Rehabilitation Science SIG and Clinical Trials for Pain Research SIG. 

Prior to the event we ask that audience members to read the following article. . 

CitationKeefe, F. J., Jensen, M. P., Williams, A. C. D. C., & George, S. Z. (2022). The yin and yang of pragmatic clinical trials of behavioral interventions for chronic pain: balancing design features to maximize impact. Pain, 163(7), 1215-1219.


Francis (Frank) Keefe, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Professor in Anesthesiology, and Professor of Medicine at Duke University. Dr. Keefe is Director of the Duke Pain Prevention and Treatment Research Program, an active NIH funded clinical research program focused on developing new and more effective ways of assessing and treating patients having acute and persistent pain.  Dr. Keefe played a key role in the development of clinical pain services and pain research programs at Duke Medical Center.  For over 20 years, he directed the Duke Pain Management Program and was a leader in the development of Duke Medical Center's multidisciplinary pain programs (both out-patient and in-patient.)  Dr. Keefe has developed and refined a number of treatment protocols for persistent pain conditions (e.g. pain in patients with advanced cancer; or persistent joint pain due to osteoarthritis) including spouse and partner-assisted pain coping skills training interventions.  He has conducted a number of randomized clinical trials testing the efficacy of these and other behavioral interventions (e.g. aerobic exercise protocols, yoga based interventions, mindfulness-based interventions, forgiveness-based interventions, loving kindness meditation, and emotional disclosure).  Dr. Keefe has published over 490 papers and 4 books on topics ranging from pain coping strategies used by people suffering from persistent pain to the treatment of cancer pain at end of life. Over the past 10 years, he has served Editor in Chief of PAIN, the premier journal for publishing basic and applied pain science.  Dr. Keefe has a longstanding interest in mentoring students and early career professionals who seek to develop, test, and disseminate novel protocols for managing pain, stress, and medical symptoms. 

Kathleen A. Sluka, PT, PhD, FAPTA is a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Iowa. Dr. Sluka’s research focuses on the neurobiology of musculoskeletal pain as well as the mechanisms and effectiveness of non-pharmacological pain treatments. She has published over 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts. She is currently leading a pragmatic clinical trial through the PRISM network -Pragmatic and Implementation Studies for the Management of Pain to Reduce Opioid Prescribing (PRISM) by implementing TENS to standard physical therapy treatment in individuals with fibromyalgia. 

S. Nicole (Nicki) Hastings MD is a geriatrician and health services research. She is Professor of Medicine and Professor in Population Health Sciences at Duke University and Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. Dr. Hastings also leads the Durham Center of Innovation (COIN) to ADAPT within the Durham Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System. Dr. Hastings has a strong record of scientific productivity and research leadership. She served as Director of Durham VA’s geriatrics clinic for 5 years and has been a core investigator with the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and the COIN since 2006. Dr. Hastings is a previous VA Career Development Award recipient, and she has been continuously funded by VA Health Services Research & Development for more than 10 years. Her work has focused on improving care for vulnerable older adults in acute care settings and across transitions of care. She leads Durham’s Function and Independence Quality Enhancement Research Initiative Program, where she is Director of STRIDE, an inpatient walking program for hospitalized older adults at the Durham VA, which was named a Gold Status Practice by VA’s Diffusion of Excellence program.

Emine Bayman, PhD is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Anesthesia at the University of Iowa. Dr. Bayman is the Deputy Director of the Clinical Trials Statistical and Data Management Center (CTSDMC) and has over 15 years of experience providing statistical design, conduct and analysis expertise to multi-center clinical trials. She has served as a Principal Investigator, a co-investigator, or a primary statistician for multiple NIH and/or industry-funded studies. She has published extensively in the areas of transition from acute to chronic postsurgical pain, Bayesian clinical trials, and multi-center clinical trial design. She is the Assistant Editor of Statistics in Anesthesia & Analgesia and on the editorial boards of the Neurosurgery, Journal of Pain, and European Journal of Pain


Steven Z. George PT, PhD, FAPTA completed his physical therapy training at West Virginia University and worked clinically at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center/Centers for Rehab Services.  He completed his research training at the University of Pittsburgh and continued onto a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida.  Currently, Dr. George is the Laszlo Ormandy Distinguished Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University.  Dr. George’s primary research interest involves using biopsychosocial models for the prediction and prevention of transition to chronic musculoskeletal pain disorders.  

Dr. George has had his research funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute and along with his collaborators has authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications in leading physical therapy, medical, orthopaedic, rehabilitation, and pain research journals.  He was a committee member for a workshop on non-pharmacological pain management hosted by the National Academies, has served on the Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, is a Deputy Editor for PTJ, and an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Pain.  

Dr. George is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA, a past John HP Maley Lecturer, and has also been recognized by the APTA with prestigious research awards: Michels for New Investigator, Rothstein Golden Pen for Scientific Writing, Hislop for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Literature, and Williams for Research in Physical Therapy.    

Faculty web page:



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