Pain and Neuroscience


Pain research at McGill is amongst the best in the world, based on a large critical mass of exceptional pain researchers, and on a tradition of outstanding accomplishments in the neurosciences. The legacy of Ron Melzack’s proposal of the gate-control theory of pain in 1965 continues with McGill pain studies appearing in the world’s most influential journals.

Knowledge translation goals

Our research will: (1) help in understanding the physiological basis of a number of unexplained chronic pain conditions, (2) provide new therapies for chronic and acute pain conditions, (3) provide novel animal models for pain conditions such as neuropathic pain, migraine, complex regional pain syndrome, functional abdominal pain, interstitial cystitis, back pain, fibromyalgia and vulvodynia, (4) help explain the influence of genetic, environmental and dietary factors in the development of chronic pain, and (5) understand the influence of psychological factors on pain.



Dr. Luda Diatchenko

  • Pain Genetics
  • Human Molecular Genetics
  • Chronic Pain Conditions

Dr. Mervyn Gornitsky

  • Facial pain
  • Saliva
  • Scleroderma
  • Xerostomia

Dr. Richard Hovey

  • Qualitative research
  • Patient centred care
  • Chronic illness
  • Medical Education / Communication

Dr. Arkady Khoutorsky

  • Dysregulation of translational control and the development of chronic pain
  • Extracellular matrix (ECM) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the regulation of spinal cord plasticity
  • Dysregulation of integrated stress response (ISR) pathway and pathophysiology of Fragile X syndrome

Dr. Marc-Olivier Martel

  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Prescription opioid misuse & addiction
  • Biopsychosocial factors

Dr. Carol Meloto

  • Orofacial pain
  • Pain genetics
  • Translational research
  • Randomized clinical trials

Dr. Étienne Vachon-Presseau

  • Coming soon

Dr. Ana Velly, Associate Professor,
Chair of Orofacial Pain Working Group of the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR)

  • Pain
  • Acute to chronic pain transition
  • Biomarkers
  • Opioids
  • Epidemiology
  • Randomized clinical trials
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Statistical Analysis

Dr. Ji Zhang

  • Glial cell biology
  • Nervous system
  • Immune response
  • Pain
  • Behaviour


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