Appointments, Faculty and Staff

Maixner Appointed to Federal Pain Research Committee

Dr. William Maixner, Kenan Distinguished Professor and director of the Regional Center for Neurosensory Disorders, has been appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to serve on the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC).

The committee, on which Maixner will serve through July 31, 2016, is charged with developing a summary of research advances related to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pain and pain-related disorders. Further, it will identify gaps in basic and clinical research on symptoms and causes of pain, and make recommendations to establish and expand public and private partnerships to increase collaborative research and to ensure that activities conducted or supported by Federal agencies are not duplicative.

The IPRCC is authorized under Public Law 111-148, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” to coordinate within HHS and other Federal agencies, activities related to pain research. The IPRCC is composed of not more than seven voting members representing Federal agencies, and 12 non-Federal members including six members who are scientists, clinicians and other health professionals and six members from the general public representing research, advocacy and service organizations focused on pain-related conditions.

“I am honored to have been selected by the Secretary to join the IPRCC. Throughout my career, I have been a proponent for research collaboration and have strived to develop programs that are inclusive, multidisciplinary and cost-effective,” said Maixner. “As director of the RCNSD, I am responsible for carrying out its threefold mission of research, education, and patient care; similarly, I envision the work of the IPRCC to maintain a broad focus as it analyzes and informs current and future policies and health care practices that affect millions of people who suffer from pain and pain-related disorders.”

The Regional Center for Neurosensory Disorders provides a framework for researchers, clinicians and educators to collaborate around common goals of understanding the roles and relationships between risk factors that predict the onset or persistence of painful conditions, discovering innovations leading to individually tailored therapies, and educating providers and patients to reduce suffering from pain-related sensory disorders. Founded in 2005, the Center was reestablished in 2012 simultaneous with expansion of both its physical space and interdisciplinary cadre of scientists, clinicians, biostatisticians and educators. Currently, Center membership crosses international boundaries, with contributors located in Canada, Europe, and South America.