Gary Bennett

gary.bennett [at] (Email)
Tel:(514) 398-3432

Gary BennettGary J. Bennett, Ph.D., is Canada Senior Research Chair, Department of Anesthesia and Faculty of Dentistry. He earned his bachelor's degree (Psychology) in 1970 from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology) from the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University in 1978. In the same year, he joined the Neurobiology and Anesthesiology Branch (NAB), National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, as a Public Health Service Postdoctoral Fellow. He was appointed to the permanent staff of NAB in 1979, and was made Chief of the Neuropathic Pain and Pain Measurement Section in 1991. In 1996, he became Professor in the Department of Neurology at MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. He joined McGill University in 2001.

He 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. For the past 25 years, his research has focused on the mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal pain sensations, and the pharmacological basis of pain control.


Painful peripheral neuropathies are chronic conditions that arise when nerves are damaged by trauma, disease, metabolic insufficiency, and by certain drugs and toxins. Examples include painful diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, post-traumatic neuropathies, and the painful peripheral neuropathy caused by drugs used to treat cancer. Unlike other forms of chronic pain, neuropathic pain responds poorly or not at all to the standard analgesic drugs and thus it leads to great suffering, major disability and extensive health care utilization.

My research program is a multidisciplinary effort aimed at understanding the causes of neuropathic pain, and at developing new analgesics for its relief. The program involves basic research studies that use animal models of painful peripheral neuropathies and studies that involve patients with various neuropathic pain conditions. The program involves diverse methodologies — analyses of animal behavior, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuro-imaging (fMRI), behavioral pharmacology, neuro-immunology, and clinical research that is performed in conjunction with the MUHC Pain Centre.


Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  Effects of mitochondrial poisons on the chronic painful peripheral neuropathies produced in the rat by the chemotherapeutic agents, paclitaxel an oxaliplatin.  Pain 2012; 153: 704-709.
Xiao WH, Zheng H, Bennett GJ.  Oxaliplatin-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy: Evidence for a mitotoxic effect in primary afferent neurons.  Neuroscience 2012; 203: 194-206.
Bennett, GJ.  What is spontaneous pain and who has it?  J Pain 2012; 13: 921-929.
Bennett GJ.  Reply to Drs. Loeser and Mogil.  J Pain 2012; 13: 934-935.  [Letter]
Zheng, H, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  Mitotoxicity and bortezomib-induced chronic painful peripheral neuropathy.  Exptl Neurol 2012; 238: 225-234.
Ragavendran JV, Laferrière A, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ, Padi SSV, Zhang J, Coderre TJ.  Topical combinations aimed at treating microvascular dysfunction reduce allodynia in rat models of CRPS-I and neuropathic pain.  J Pain 2012; 14: 66-78.
AlmarestaniL, Fitzcharles MA, Bennett GJ, Ribeiro-da-Silva A.  Imaging studies in a complete freund’s adjuvant model of regional polyarthritis in the rat: a model suitable for the study of pain mechanisms.  Arthritis Rheum, 2011; 63: 1573-1581.
Farmer MA, Taylor AM, Bailey AL, Tuttle AH, MacIntyre LC, Milagrosa ZE, Crissman HP, BennettGJ, Ribiero-da-SilvaA, Yitzchak YM, Mogil JS .  Repeated vulvovaginal fungal infections cause persistent pain in a mouse model of vulvodynia.  Sci Transl Med 2011; 3: 101ra91.
Burlina AP, Sims K, Politei JM, Baron R, Bennett GJ, Fellgiebel A, Møller AT, Sommer C, Hilz MJ.  Early diagnosis of peripheral nervous system involvement in Fabry disease and treatment of neuropathic pain: the report of an expert panel.  BMC Neurology 2011; 11: 61.
Zheng FY, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  The response of spinal microglia to chemotherapy-evoked painful peripheral neuropathies is distinct from that evoked by traumatic nerve injuries.  Neuroscience 2011; 176: 447-454.
Bennett GJ, Liu GK, Xiao WH, Jin HW, Siau C.  Terminal arbor degeneration (TAD): a novel lesion produced by the chemotherapeutic agent, paclitaxel.  Eur J Neurosci 2011; 33: 1667-1676.
Zheng H, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  Functional deficits in peripheral nerve mitochondria in rats with paclitaxel- and oxaliplatin-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy.  Exptl Neurol 2011; 232: 154-161.
Xiao WH, Zheng H, Zheng FY, Nuydens, R, Meert TF, Bennett GJ.  Mitochondrial abnormality in sensory, but not motor, axons in paclitaxel-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy in the rat.  Neuroscience 2011; 199: 461-469.

Bennett GJ.  Pathophysiology and animal models of cancer-related painful peripheral neuropathy.  The Oncologist 2010; 15 Suppl, 2: 9-12.
Coderre TJ, Bennett GJ.  A new hypothesis for the cause of complex regional pain syndrome- type I (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy): Pain due to deep-tissue microvascular pathology.  Pain Med 2010; 11: 1224-1238.
Ware MA, Wang T, Shapiro S, Robinson A, Ducruet T, Huynh T, Gamsa A, Bennett GJ, Collet J-P.  Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain:  Results of a pilot randomized controlled trial.  Can Med Assoc J 2010; 182: E694-E701.
Mogil JS, Ritchie J, GrahamA, Hughes SF, Austin J-S, Schorscher-Petcu A, Langford DJ, Bennett GJ.  Hypolocomotion, asymmetrically directed spontaneous behaviors (licking, lifting, flinching, and shaking) and dynamic weight bearing (gait) changes are not measures of chronic neuropathic pain in mice.  Mol Pain 2010; 8;6:34.
Bennett, GJ.  The logic of animal models.  In: Mogil J.  Pain 2010 - An updated review: Refresher Course Syllabus.  IASP Press, Seattle, 2010; p 99-106.
Dworkin RH, Barbano RL, Tyring SK, Betts RF, McDermott MP, Pennella-Vaughan J, Bennett GJ, Berber E, Gnann JW, Irvine C, Kamp C, Kieburtz K, Max MB, Schmader KE.  Oxycodone or gabapentin for acute pain in herpes zoster:  a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.  Pain 2009; 142: 209–217.
Almarestani L, Waters S, Krause J, Bennett G, Ribeiro-da-Silva A.  De novo expression of the neurokinin 1 receptor in spinal lamina I pyramidal neurons in polyarthritis.  J Comp Neurol 2009; 514: 284–295.
Bennett GJ, Watson CPN.  Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia: Past, present and future.  Pain Res Mngmt  2009; 14: 275-282.
Xiao WH, Zheng FY, Bennett GJ, Bordet T, Pruss RM.  Olesoxime (cholest-4-en-3-one, oxime):  Analgesic and neuroprotective effects in a rat model of painful peripheral neuropathy produced by the chemotherapeutic agent, paclitaxel.  Pain 2009; 147: 202-209.
Sang CN, Bennett GJ.  Novel therapies for the control and prevention of neuropathic pain.  Neurotherapeutics 2009; 6: 607-608.
Xiao WH, Naso L, Bennett GJ.  Experimental studies of potential analgesics for the treatment of chemotherapy-evoked painful peripheral neuropathies.  Pain Med 2008; 9: 505-517.
Xiao WH, Bennett GJ. Chemotherapy-evoked neuropathic pain:  Abnormal spontaneous discharge in A-fiber and C-fiber primary afferent neurons and its suppression by acetyl-L-carnitine. Pain 2008; 135: 262-270.
Jin HW, Flatters SJL, Xiao WH, Mulhern HL, Bennett GJ.  Prevention of paclitaxel-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy by acetyl-L-carnitine:  Effects on axonal mitochondria, sensory nerve fiber terminal arbors, and cutaneous Langerhans cells.  Exptl Neurol 2008; 210: 229-237.
Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  C-fiber spontaneous discharge evoked by chronic inflammation is suppressed by a long-term infusion of lidocaine yielding nanogram per milliliter plasma levels.  Pain 2008; 137: 218-228.
Feldman EL, Cornblath DR, Porter J, Dworkin R, Scherer S, et al.  National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): Advances in understanding and treating neuropathy, 24-25 October 2008; Bethesda, Maryland.  J Peripher Nerv Syst 2008; 13: 1-6.
Xanthos DN, Bennett GJ, Coderre TJ.  Norepinephrine-induced nociception and vasoconstrictor hypersensitivity in rats with chronic post-ischemic pain.  Pain 2008; 137: 640-651.
Laferrière A, Millecamps M, Xanthos DN, Xiao WH, Siau C, Vrolijk-de Mos M, Sachot C, Ragavendran JV, Huygen FJPM, Bennett GJ, Coderre TJ.  Cutaneous tactile allodynia associated with microvascular dysfunction in muscle.  Mol Pain 2008; 4: 49. doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-4-49.
Almarestani L, Krause JE, Waters SM, Bennett GJ, Ribeiro-da-Silva A.  Morphological characterization of spinal cord dorsal horn lamina I neurons projecting to the parabrachial nucleus in the rat.  J Comp Neurol 2007; 504: 287-297.
Xiao WH, Boroujerdi A, Bennett GJ, Luo ZD.  Chemotherapy-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy: analgesic effects of gabapentin and effects on expression of the alpha-2-delta type-1 calcium channel subunit.  Neuroscience 2007; 144: 714-720.
Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  Chronic inflammatory pain and persistent spontaneous discharge in A-fibers and C-fibers.  Anesthesiology 2007; 107: 813-821.
Cianfrocca M, Flatters SJL, Bennett GJ, McNicol E, Relias V, Carr D, Gillis TA.  Peripheral neuropathy in a woman with breast cancer.  J Pain 2006; 7: 2-10.
Villemure C, Wassimi S, Bennett GJ, Shir Y, Bushnell MC.  Unpleasant odors increase pain processing in a patient with neuropathic pain: Psychophysical and fMRI investigation.  Pain 2006; 120: 213-220.
Flatters SJL, Bennett, GJ.  Studies of peripheral sensory nerves in paclitaxel-induced painful peripheral neuropathy: Evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction.  Pain 2006; 122: 245-257.
Siau C, Bennett GJ.  Dysregulation of neuronal calcium homeostasis in chemotherapy-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy.  Anesth Analg 2006; 102: 1485-1490.
Amir R, Argoff CE, Bennett GJ, Cummins TR, Durieux ME, Gerner P, Gold MS, Porreca F, Strichartz GR.  The role of sodium channels in chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.  J Pain 2006; 7(Suppl 3): S1-S29.
Yen LD, Bennett GJ, Ribeiro-da-Silva, A.  Sympathetic sprouting and changes in nociceptive sensory innervation in the glabrous skin of the rat hind paw following partial peripheral nerve injury.   Eur J Pain 2006; 495: 679-690.
Flatters SJL, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  Acetyl-L-carnitine prevents and reduces paclitaxel-induced painful neuropathy.  Neurosci Lett 2006; 397: 219-223.
Argoff CE, Backonja MM, Belgrade MJ, Bennett GJ, Clark MR, Cole BE, Fisbain DA, Irving GA, McCarberg BH, McLean MJ.  Consensus guidelines:  Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain.  Treatment planning and options.  Mayo Clinic Proc 2006; 81: S12-S25.
Siau C, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ.  Paclitaxel- and vincristine-evoked painful peripheral neuropathies: loss of epidermal innervation and activation of Langerhans cells.  Exptl Neurol 2006; 201: 507-514.
Bennett GJ. Can we distinguish inflammatory and neuropathic pain?  Pain Res Mngmt 2006; 11(Suppl A): 11-15.
Grelik C, Bennett GJ, Ribeiro-da-Silva A.  Autonomic fiber sprouting and changes in nociceptive sensory innervation in the rat lower lip skin following chronic constriction injury.  Eur J Pain 2005; 21: 2475-2487.
Bennett, GJ.  Animal models and their clinical implications.  In: Merskey H, Loeser JD, Dubner R, eds, The Paths of Pain 1975-2005, IASP Press, Seattle, 2005, pp 243-251.
Davies SL, Siau C, Bennett GJ.  Characterization of a model of cutaneous inflammation from a sterile injury produced by a single exposure to ultraviolet irradiation in rat.  J Neurosci Meth 2005; 148: 161-166.
Bennett GJ.  Experimental neuropathic pain in animals: models and mechanisms.  In: Justins DM, ed, Pain 2005 -- An updated review: Refresher Course Syllabus, IASP Press, Seattle, 2005, chapt. 11.
Flatters SJL, Bennett GJ.  Ethosuximide reverses paclitaxel- and vincristine-induced painful peripheral neuropathy.  Pain 2004; 109: 150-161.
Lee BN, Dantzer R, Langley KE, Bennett GJ, Dougherty PM, Dunn AJ, Meyers CA, Miller AH, Payne R, Reuben JM, Wang XS, Cleeland CS. A cytokine-based neuroimmunological mechanism of cancer-related symptoms.  Neuroimmunomodulation 2004; 11: 279-292.
Mailis-Gagnon A, Bennett GJ.  Abnormal contralateral pain responses from an intradermal injection of phenylephrine in a subset of patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  Pain 2004; 111: 378-384.
Perez J, Ware MA, Chevalier S, Gougeon R, Bennett GJ, Shir Y.  Dietary fat and protein interact in suppressing chronic neuropathic pain following a partial sciatic ligation injury in rats.  Pain 2004; 111: 297-305.
Coderre TJ, Xanthos DN, Bennett GJ, Francis L.  Chronic post-ischemic pain (CPIP): A novel animal model of complex regional pain syndrome – type I (CRPS-I) produced by prolonged hind paw ischemia and reperfusion injury in the rat.  Pain 2004; 112: 94-105.
Bennett GJ.  Neuropathic pain in the orofacial region.  J Orofacial Pain 2004; 18: 281-286.
Bennett GJ, Chung JM, Seltzer Z.  Models of neuropathic pain in the rat.  Current Protocols Neurosci 2003;9(Suppl. 22): 9.14.1-9.14.16.
Cleeland CS, Bennett GJ, Dantzer R, Dougherty PM, Dunn AJ, Meyers CA, Miller AH, Payne R, Reuben JM, Wang XS, Lee BN, Are the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment due to a shared biologic mechanism? A cytokine-immunologic model of cancer symptoms.  Cancer 2003; 97: 2919-2925.
Dworkin RH, Backonja M, Rowbotham MC, Allen RR, Argoff CR, Bennett GJ, Bushnell MC, Farrar JT, Galer BS, Haythornwaite JA, Hewitt DJ, Loeser JD, Saltarelli M, Schmader KE, Stein C, Thompson D, Turk DC, Wallace MS, Watkins LR, Weinstein SM.  Advances in neuropathic pain: Diagnosis, mechanisms, and treatment recommendations.  Arch Neurol 2003; 60: 1524-1534.
Bennett GJ, Harden RN.  Questions concerning the incidence and prevalence of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I.  Pain 2003; 106: 209-211.  [Letter to the Editor].
Mailis A, Bennett GJ.  Dissociation between cutaneous and deep pain sensibility in central post-stroke pain (CPSP).  Pain 2002; 98: 331-334.
Wallace MS, Rowbotham M, Bennett GJ, Jensen TS, Pladna R, Quessy S.  A multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross over evaluation of a short course of 4030W92 in patients with chronic neuropathic pain.  J Pain 2002; 3:277-233.
Polomano R, Clark U, Mannes AJ, Bennett GJ.  A painful peripheral neuropathy in rat produced by the chemotherapeutic drug, paclitaxel.  Pain 2001; 94: 293-304.
Polomano RP, Bennett GJ.  Chemotherapy-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy.  Pain Med 2001; 2: 8-14.
Bennett GJ.  Animals models of pain.  In:  Kruger L, ed, Methods in Pain Research, CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL, 2001, pp 67-99.