For as long as dental care has existed, fear of pain has driven patients out of dental practices. There is an obvious link between research on pain and dental medicine, which explains the close relationship between the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences and the Alan Edwards Center for Research on Pain (AECRP).
As Jim Lund started his 13 year tenure as Dean of the Faculty in 1995, he was determined to make pain research a priority. He recruited Catherine Bushnell to be the lead in the development of the pain community at McGill University. She became the architect of the first McGill Pain Day in 1995, which allowed pain researchers at McGill to gather and share their work on a regular basis for the first time. 2023 will be the 27th consecutive year of McGill Pain Day. As the event grew in size and popularity, many other projects were developed. The energy and willingness for researchers to collaborate led to the creation of the McGill Pain Center in 2002, a project carried by many but piloted by Jim Lund and Catherine Bushnell.
The Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences is represented by Dean Elham Emami on the AERCP’s Management Board, alongside Dean David Eidelman (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) and Dean Bruce Lennox (Faculty of Science). Many researchers from the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences are currently working at the Centre, including Luda Diatchenko, Jocelyne Feine, Richard Hovey, Arkady Khoutorsky, Marc Martel, Carolina Beraldo Meloto, Etienne Vachon-Presseau, Ana Miriam Velly, Ji Zhang and Zovinar Der Katchadourian.
The Alan Edwards Center for Research on Pain was the hub of pain research but lacked a physical location until this month. On December 2 a new step in the Centre’s existence was achieved with a new facility and brand-new equipment. The Lyman Duff building will be a hub and a key meeting point to create a new connection between individuals working towards the same goal: to improve the prevention and treatment of chronic pain.