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Monday, May 8, 2017

Welcome and Roll Call

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, PC Executive Committee Chair

Changes in NIH Study Section for Pain Research Applications

Dr. Bruce Reed, Director, Division of Neuroscience, Development and Aging, CSR & Dr. Nick Gaiano, Division Chief, IFCN, CSR

Drs. Reed and Gaiano from the Center for Scientific Review presented updates to the NIH Study section for pain research applications.  As part of their review of NIH study sections and with feedback from the pain research community, CSR considered ways to change the Somatosensory and Chemosensory Systems (SCS) study section, which had consistently high volume of grants.  After discussions and with support from the pain research community, the decision was made to divide the SCS study section into somatosensory and pain systems (SPS) and chemosensory systems (CSS).  The SPS section will review research on the molecular biology, anatomy, physiology of psychophysics pain, analgesia and somatosensory systems in animals and humans. The emphasis is on integrative systems approaches to understanding normal sensory function and sensory pathology due to injury or disease.  The SPS will be set up initially as a special emphasis panel (SEP), with current standing members from SCS who are pain research experts serving out their terms on the new SPS SEP.  These changes will be implemented in the June/July 2017 round of grant review.  After several rounds of review and evaluation, a series of steps, including program and investigator reviews, will be taken for the new study sections to become chartered and official. This information will be posted on the CSR website and distributed at the upcoming American Pain Society meeting.

Members noted that the announcements about the study section changes should clearly state that the new study section is not meant to encompass all pain research, but rather focus on basic mechanisms of pain. 

Upcoming NIH Cutting Edge Research Workshops on Pain and Opioids

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, NINDS

Dr. Koroshetz provided background information on the development of research workshops on pain and opioids. Dr. Francis Collins attended the National Prescription Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in April 2017 and announced the beginning of a public-private partnership aimed at combating the crisis of opioid addiction and chronic pain. To initiate these partnerships, a series of workshops will be held. The first workshop taking place on June 5 will focus on developing medications for opioid use disorders and for overdose prevention and reversal. The second workshop taking place on June 16 will focus on developing effective and non-addictive treatments for pain. The final workshop taking place on July 7 will focus on neurobiological mechanisms of pain. There will be approximately 40 expert participants attending each meeting. The meetings will be closed to the public.  View the workshop agendas 

The National Pain Strategy (NPS) Stakeholder Meeting

Dr. Linda Porter, NINDS

Dr. Porter announced that the NPS Implementation listening session will take place on May 11, 2017.  This session is part of the communication strategy of the implementation phase of the NPS.  The goal of the meeting is to discuss progress on objectives from the NPS workgroups. The meeting will be webcast.  Implementation of the National Pain Strategy is being achieved in a number of ways. One example is a collaboration between the American Pain Society and Pfizer Independent Grants to fund proposals that translate scientific knowledge into clinically useful approaches while addressing objectives identified in the National Pain Strategy.   Another example related to professional education objectives is an effort to develop pain management core competencies for pre-licensure clinical education, spearheaded by Dr. Scott Fishman.   In addition, there are a number of ongoing pilot programs that will potentially expand to a national level to meet NPS objectives.  A summary will be posted after the meeting.

The Federal Pain Research Strategy, Progress and Public Comment Period

Dr. Linda Porter, NINDS

Dr. Porter provided background on the development of the FPRS. The FPRS serves as the research component of the National Pain Strategy and was overseen by the IPRCC which has appropriate expertise for this effort. Representatives from the NIH Pain Consortium served on the planning committee, which established five workgroups addressing disparities and the continuum of pain.  An FPRS steering committee was established to select workgroup co-chairs and provide guidance and oversight to the workgroups.  Drs. Linda Porter and Allan Basbaum served as co-chairs of the FPRS Steering Committee. Work groups met twice a month for approximately one year and ultimately developed a set of vetted research priorities.  A face to face meeting of the co-chairs was held to review research priorities and cross-cutting priorities were developed.  Research priorities were ranked and rated by all FPRS members.  Based on feedback from the FPRS Steering committee, research priorities were organized by quartiles so that the top quartile priorities would be considered the highest priority.  Dr. Porter noted that the scores across all research priorities were very close.  Workgroups will be asked to identify the priority they consider most impactful as well as priorities with the nearest term value.   The next steps for the FPRS are to hold a public comment period and a forum (June 1) where representatives from each of the work groups will briefly present their process and established priorities.  A preamble will be developed before the final strategy is released.  Learn more about the FPRS

Members made comments and suggestions regarding the number of recommendations and how to group them. Dr. Porter noted that FPRS members have been informed that it will be up to the departments and agencies to support the priorities most relevant to their mission.  This information will also be included in the preamble.

Notice of a workshop on Pain in Animals: Developing validated methods to measure chronic pain in different species and diseases

Dr. Michael Oshinsky, NINDS

Dr. Oshinsky announced a NIH workshop on pain in animals to be held November 29-30, 2017.  The workshop will bring together veterinarians that treat companion animals for pain and clinicians that treat pain in humans.  The meeting theme will focus on the need for validated measures for chronic pain in different species and translation of basic research into new approved therapeutics.  Potential topics include activity monitoring, placebo effect, cancer pain and other disease models.  Representatives from the FDA including human and veterinarian clinicians will participate.  The target audience is researchers in the veterinary space, NIH-supported basic science researchers, and behavioral model researchers. The meeting will be funded by industry and NIH is providing the meeting space. There are no registration costs. More information about the Pain in Animals workshop 

Notice of National Center on Complementary and Integrative Health FOA – Optimization Research of Mind and Body Interventions for Pain Management

Dr. Wen Chen, NCCIH

Dr. Chen announced a funding opportunity announcement on optimization research for pain management. Dr. Chen noted that there are many mind and body interventions, yet it is not known if or how they work. The goal of optimization research is to develop and test strategies that ultimately will help achieve better clinical outcomes through modifications of the complementary and integrative health approaches, the underlying mechanisms and processes, and/or the chosen biological systems. Dr. Chen highlighted a number of grants that target one or more of these areas in order to modify a clinical outcome. Examples include combining two therapies such as hypnosis and stimulation, selecting a specific population to get a better clinical outcome and modifying social interaction or using imagery to improve acupuncture therapy.