Dr. Gary J. Bennett honoured for outstanding educational achievements in pain research and treatment
Dr. Gary J. Bennett honoured for outstanding educational
achievements in pain research and treatment
Twenty years ago, as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National
Institutes of Health, Gary J. Bennett was studying mechanisms that
cause neuropathic pain - chronic pain resulting from nerve damage
caused by trauma, disease, toxins or metabolic disease. This kind
of pain does not respond to the usual pain medications and leads to
great and prolonged suffering.
But in what can only be described as a serendipitous moment,
Bennett inadvertently discovered how to produce a neuropathic pain
state in an animal for the very first time. This blew the field of
neuropathic pain research wide open for fellow scientists and
drug-makers. Twenty years later, as a result, neuropathic pain is
better understood, a number of promising new analgesic drugs exist
and new discoveries are being made constantly.
All thanks to the Bennett Model.
Last week, the American Pain Society (APS) announced that
Bennett, now a McGill University Professor and Canada Senior
Research Chair in the Dept. of Anesthesia, the Faculty of Dentistry
and the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, was among six
winners of its prestigious annual achievement awards. Dr. Bennett
was the recipient of the APS's Elizabeth Narcessian Award in
recognition of his outstanding educational achievements in pain
research and treatment.
"The APS is a rather unusual organization in its diverse
membership of basic scientists, clinical scientists, caregivers,
healthcare professionals, industry representatives, patients and
patients' self-help groups. One of its goals is to facilitate
communication between these diverse groups," Bennett said. "I've
always tried to talk to people in a way that everybody could
understand, translating clinical findings into terms that the basic
scientists found interesting or talking about basic science and
making it intelligible to a lay audience. So, I was very gratified
by this award. It's something that I've worked hard at for a long
time, I've always thought it was important and the Society either
thought I was good at it, or at least very persistent at it."
Dr. Bennett, whose career in pain research has spanned three
decades, has served on the American Pain Society's Board of
Directors and on the Editorial Board for Pain (1986-1999), the
journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, and
currently serves on the Editorial Board for Pain Medicine, the
journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. He has served on
the Board of Directors of the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
Association of America, where he was Director of Research, and
received their Scientific Achievement Award in 2000. He was awarded
the American Pain Society's Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science
Research Award in 1996 and the American Academy of Pain Medicine's
Founder's Award in 2001. Dr. Bennett joined McGill in 2001.
Based in Glenview, Ill., the 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. The Board of Directors includes physicians,
nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy
analysts and more.