Speakers 2019

Meet some of the speakers for the 2019 Pain Adelaide conference, Tuesday March 12 at the National Wine Center Adelaide…  possibly the best little pain meeting in the world….

Dr Lauren Heathcote

Dr. Lauren Heathcote is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine. She studies the interaction of physical and psychological health in young people. She is particularly interested in the way that we perceive pain as a threat to our bodies, and how this impacts the experience of pain and its emotional consequences, especially in adolescence. She previously completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, where she examined cognitive biases in adolescents with chronic pain. She now focuses on the experience of pain and other physical sensations, such as fatigue and breathlessness, in adolescents and young adults who have survived cancer. The aim of her research is to improve the lives of young people who have experienced cancer through conducting innovative clinical and experimental research, developing evidence-based psychological interventions, and contributing to best clinical practice guidelines for long-term follow-up care.

Dr Melanie Noel

Melanie is an Assistant 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 Alberta Children’s Pain Research Lab within the Vi Riddell Pain & Rehabilitation Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Noel’s expertise is on children’s memories for pain and co-occurring mental health issues and pediatric chronic pain. She published conceptual models of children’s pain memory development, co-occurring PTSD and chronic pain, and fear-avoidance (70 peer-reviewed papers, H index = 20). In recognition of her contributions to advancing knowledge of the psychological aspects of children’s pain, she received early career awards from the Society of Pediatric Psychology, the International Association for the Study of Pain, the Canadian Pain Society, and the Canadian Psychological Association.

Dr. Noel is an advocate for the use of developmentally tailored psychological interventions for pediatric pain management and serves on committees to promote and implement evidence-based interventions within her children’s hospital and beyond. As an evidence lead on the Help Eliminate Pain in Kids and Adults team, Dr. Noel co-authored clinical practice guidelines for pain and fear management for vaccine injections. Many of these recommendations were adopted by the World Health Organization.

Dr Siobhan Schabrun

Siobhan is a NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Senior Research Scientist and group leader at Neuroscience Research Australia. She has an undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy and a PhD in Neuroscience, specifically in the assessment and induction of neuroplasticity in humans, and has contributed more than 80 publications to the field. Dr Schabrun’s work is centred on the exploration of neuroplasticity in pain using clinical populations and human transitional pain models and seeks to advance our understanding of the pathophysiology, treatment and prevention of chronic musculoskeletal pain.

A/Prof David A. Seminowicz

David is Associate Professor in the Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore. He received a BSc from the University of Guelph, a PhD at the University of Toronto and completed postdoctoral training at McGill University. His work has focused on the cognitive aspects of pain, individual differences in the response to pain, and the consequence of chronic pain on brain structure and function. His studies have clarified how pain-related and cognitive-related brain activity interact and how passive and active pain coping strategies affect these types of activity. His work further suggested a brain mechanism through which chronic pain might affect cognitive ability and continues testing this hypothesis in intervention studies in people with chronic pain. The clinical populations in these studies include chronic low back pain, chronic and episodic migraine, and burning mouth syndrome. Dr. Seminowicz has also used rodent MRI to ask a question that could not easily be addressed in humans, such as how the brain changes over time from before the onset of an injury that leads to chronic pain to the time when the disease affects cognitive and affective behaviors. Ongoing studies in Dr. Seminowicz’s lab employ longitudinal designs to assess how various interventions affect brain function, in human disease and rodent models. The main techniques in his lab include quantitative sensory testing, EEG, and structural and functional MRI. His main funding is from the NIH, and smaller projects are funding through intercampus initiatives, private foundations, and industry.