2018 Congress Award Winners
Competition was the fiercest ever for four prestigious IASP awards that recognize outstanding contributions to basic and clinical pain science by IASP members. The 2018 awards will be presented September 12-16 at the 17th World Congress on Pain in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
“IASP received a record number of nominees for these awards this year, and we were impressed with their very high quality,” said IASP President Judith Turner, Ph.D. “The four winners exemplify excellence across diverse areas in the field of pain. We congratulate them on their achievements and thank them for their contributions toward our mission of improved pain relief worldwide.”
Award for Excellence in Pain Research and Management in Developing Countries (Basic Science)
The US$10,000 IASP Award for Excellence in Pain Research and Management in Developing Countries honors an individual or team that has achieved a level of excellence in programs of basic science research in pain or pain management.
Gaston Nyirigira, MD, MMed, is the recipient of the 2018 IASP Award for Excellence in Pain Research and Management in Developing Countries (Basic Science). Dr. Nyirigira is a consultant anaesthesiologist at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Butare in Rwanda. A genocide survivor, he has pursued a career in pain science to reduce the suffering of fellow citizens. In his referral hospital, Dr. Nyirigira is working to establish a program of acute pain care that includes clinical research and quality improvement. He also has worked with the Canadian Society International Education Fund and the interdisciplinary research team of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, on clinical research, policy and program development, integrated knowledge translation, quality improvement, and acute and chronic pain care.
Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award for Basic Science
The $2,500 IASP Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award was initiated in 1987 and honors individuals who have achieved a level of independence as a scholar in the field of pain.
Irina Vetter, Ph.D., has won the 2018 Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award for Basic Science. Dr. Vetter is an associate professor and–supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship–is group leader of the Neuropharmacology of Pain group at The University of Queensland in Australia. Her research has focused on neuropharmacology of pain, analgesic drug discovery, pain pathway characterization, and translational pain research. Her current research explores the mechanisms of somatosensation and peripheral sensory neurons, in which peptides and toxins are being used to selectively target neuronal ion channels to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying pain.
Ulf Lindblom Young Investigator Award for Clinical Science
The $2,500 IASP Ulf Lindblom Young Investigator Award for Clinical Science, first presented in 2008, honors an individual who has achieved a level of independence as a scholar in the field of pain for clinical science.
Melanie Noel, PhD, has been named the 2018 Ulf Lindblom Young Investigator Award recipient. Dr. Noel, an assistant professor at University of Calgary, is an internationally recognized expert in children’s pain memories. Her doctoral research established several factors implicated in children’s pain memory development, as well as the powerful influence that children’s pain memories have in shaping subsequent pain. This empirical work led to her co-development of conceptual pediatric models of acute and chronic pain, which outline the cognitive (memory), affective (anxiety) and behavioral (parent-child pain narratives) factors implicated in children’s pain trajectories. She also co-developed several conceptual models of children’s pain memories and pediatric chronic pain, refined parent and child pain-related measures, and co-authored several systematic reviews on acute and chronic pediatric pain management. A frequent presenter and journal author, Dr. Noel is past recipient of a Canadian Pain Society Early Career Award, a Canadian Psychological Association President’s New Researcher Award, and an American Pain Society Pediatric Young Investigator Award.
The Ronald Dubner Research Prize
The $2,500 Ronald Dubner Research Prize is a trainee award for the best clinical or basic science research paper, series of papers, or doctoral thesis in the field of pain, published or in press, while in training as a student, intern, resident, predoctoral fellow, postdoctoral fellow, or equivalent. IASP has awarded this honor since 1993.
Jennifer Deuis, PhD, has won the 2018 IASP Ronald Dubner Research Prize. A postdoctoral researcher at The University of Queensland, Australia, Dr. Deuis focuses her main research on the use of toxins as tools to improve understanding of pain pathways. She has received an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Research fellowship to undertake this research at the university’s Centre for Pain Research, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, in Brisbane. Dr. Deuis also has several years of experience in behavioral pharmacology, specifically in rodent models of pain, and has a strong publication track record in this area. In addition, she has won several awards to travel to Germany to learn how to perform saphenous-nerve skin preparation, a research technique that allows the direct functional study of peripheral sensory neurons. As part of her PhD work, she discovered and characterized Pn3a, the most selective NaV1.7 peptide inhibitor reported to date. She continues to develop Pn3a and related peptides as a novel approach for treating pain.