American Pain Society Presents 2016 Achievement Awards

Newswise — AUSTIN, May 12, 2016 – The American Pain Society (APS),, today announced recipients of its prestigious achievement awards during the organization’s annual scientific meeting. APS recognizes excellence in pain management with awards for career achievement, pain scholarship, education and public service, advocacy on behalf of children, outstanding service to APS, early career achievements, and journalism.

2016 American Pain Society Achievement Award Recipients

Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award This APS award recognizes career achievement in clinical research and was presented to Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Mackey is chief, Division of Pain Medicine and Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology, Neurosciences and Neurology at Stanford University. Under his leadership, researchers at Stanford Systems Neuroscience and pain laboratory have made major advances in the understanding of chronic pain as a disease in its own right, one that fundamentally alters the nervous system. Dr. Mackey has served as principle investigator on multiple NIH awards where he has overseen efforts to map specific regions of the brain and spinal cord that perceive and process pain.

Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award Honors individual excellence and achievements in clinical pain scholarship and is named in honor of an APS founder, Frederick W.L. Kerr. It is awarded to Michael Gold, Ph.D., professor of anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Gold’s research has focused peripheral mechanisms of pain, such as channels that enable sensory neurons to contribute to persistent pain, and those associated with chronic inflammation or nerve injury.

Jeffrey Lawson Award In recognition of the longstanding APS interest in promoting improved pain management in pediatric health care settings, the Lawson Award recognizes advocacy efforts to improve pain management in children. It was established in 1996 in memory of Jeffrey Lawson and in recognition of his mother, Jill, for her efforts to end the practice of performing surgery and other procedures on children without anesthesia. This year's recipient is Christine Chambers, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and professor in the departments of pediatrics, psychology and neuroscience at Dalhousie University. In her research, Dr. Chambers examines developmental, psychological and social influences on children’s pain with emphasis on family factors in pediatric pain and using social media to communicate evidence-based information about children’s pain to parents.

Elizabeth Narcessian Award Recognizes outstanding educational achievements in pain management. Dr. Narcessian was an educator known for her lifelong interests in the appropriate use of opioids, patient assessment and approaches to rehabilitating patients with chronic pain. The awardee is Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, M.D., FAAP, associate professor of pediatrics, University of Minnesota and medical director, Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative care and Integrative Medicine at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota. Dr. Friedrichsdorf sees pediatric inpatients and outpatients and is the principle investigator for a five-year study sponsored by the National Institutes of Heath and National Cancer Institute on the creation, implementation and evaluation of a pediatric palliative care curriculum.

Distinguished Service Award This award honors outstanding and dedicated service to APS. The 2016 recipient is Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite, Ph.D., professor of psychology and behavioral sciences and director of the Center for Mind-Body Research at Johns Hopkins University. Her scientific contributions have focused on the study of psychosocial aspects of pain, particularly the impact of negative emotions and pain coping strategies on pain and pain-related disability. She has served on the Board of Directors for the American Pain Society and currently is the organization’s treasurer.

John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award Pays tribute to this couple for their leadership in the pain-treatment movement. It recognizes contributions by an individual or organization through public education, public service or other vehicles to communicate information about pain. The recipient is Paul Christo, M.D. MBA, associate professor in the Division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Christo has published more than 80 articles and book chapters on topics related to pain management. He hosts the first national radio talk show devoted to overcoming pain, called Aches and Gains. The show airs weekly on SIRIUS XM Radio Family Talk.

John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award This award recognizes early career achievement in pain scholarship. It is awarded to Zina Trost, Ph.D. Dr. Trost is the recipient of the International Association for the Study of Pain Early Career Research Grant, the American Pain Society Sharon Keller Chronic Pain Research Grant, the IASP International Collaborative Research Grant and, most recently, the North American Spine Society Young Investigator Clinical Research Grant. Her research focuses primarily on risk factors for musculoskeletal disability and development of gaming/virtual reality interventions to mitigate risk factors in pain and physical trauma populations.

The Kathleen M. Foley Journalist Award Recognizes excellence in reporting pain-related topics. The award is designed to honor the work of journalists whose coverage of events, scientific discoveries, patient care, issues and policies contribute to furthering public awareness and understanding of pain and pain-related issues. Rachael Rabkin Peachman is this year’s recipient for her April 2015 article in Family Circle magazine titled “Pain Management: Smart Strategies for Chronic Concerns.” Ms. Peachman has worked in journalism for 20 years and has written for national publications such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, Family Circle, Glamour, Heath, Women’s Health and Parents.

About the American Pain Society Based in Chicago, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS is the professional home for investigators involved in all aspects of pain research including basic, translational, clinical and health services research to obtain the support and inspiration they need to flourish professionally. APS strongly advocates expansion of high quality pain research to help advance science to achieve effective and responsible pain relief. For more information on APS, visit