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Almost 50 years of the Canadian Pain Society

A multidisciplinary approach to pain in Canada.

The Canadian Pain Society connects healthcare professionals, scientists, researchers, policymakers, and people with lived experience through evidence-based education.  Our purpose is to drive innovation through advancement and advocacy and revolutionize access and care for those living with pain.

What We Value

Through education and connection, we work to bridge gaps between organizations and individuals across Canada to share insights and resources about chronic pain management. The Canadian Pain Society works with healthcare providers, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to ensure that Canadians living with pain have access to quality care and support.

01

Collaboration

Leveraging the power of national understanding, relationships, and education to deliver exceptional management and tools to those who live in pain.

02

Connection

Hearing diverse perspectives fuels innovation, deepens connections between people, and drives growth as an organization. 

03

Education

The foundation that helps us nurture and develop cutting-edge modalities in pain research and management.

04

Research

Upholding integrity in science through objectivity, accountability, and stewardship.  We further the academic study of evidence-based abstracts for professionals and people in pain.

05

Advocacy

Preserving human dignity, patient equality, and freedom from suffering.  Advocacy for our vulnerable populations is done every time we step into our professional role.

06

Mentorship

Providing the opportunity to create mentor-mentee relationships that foster personal and professional development.

Our History

The Canadian Pain Society/Société Canadienne de la Douleur (a chapter of the International Association for the Study of Painhas been a leader in pain research, education, and advocacy since our inauguration in 1974.  

It's a feature of the almost 50-year history that the Society has retained the Chapter’s core belief of fostering an all-inclusive national network of multi-disciplinary members.  Championed by a history of distinguished presidents from a wealth of disciplines, we continually cultivate our contributions to evidence-based education in the face of ongoing voids in health care.

President

Dr. Hance Clarke

MD, PhD, FRCPC

Director of Pain Services and the Pain Research Unit at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH). He is the Knowledge Translation Chair for the University of Toronto Centre For the Study of Pain and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Toronto. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Clarke has played a leading role in educating the public about pain control, alternatives to opioids, and the need for further studies on the beneficial and adverse effects of cannabis. He is a champion of evidence-based solutions for the opioid crisis and an advocate for a national pain and addictions strategy. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed publications and has been invited to speak on pain control, cannabis and the opioid crisis to the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada and elsewhere around the world. He has won numerous awards including the 2016 Early Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society and the 2019 US Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding research and commitment to improving pain care.

President Elect

Dr. Tania Di Renna

BSc, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Tania Di Renna, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, completed her medical school and Anesthesiology residency training in Ottawa. She obtained a chronic pain fellowship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and has spinal cord stimulation training from Montreal Neurological Institute. 

She is currently the Medical Director of the Toronto Academic Pain Medicine Institute (TAPMI). TAPMI is the comprehensive interdisciplinary academic pain program serving as the hub for chronic pain care in Toronto. She is also the Medical Director of the Chronic Pain Clinic at Women’s College Hospital and an Anesthesiologist at UHN. She served as the co-chair of the HQO Guidelines for Chronic Pain, is currently the co-chair of the Ontario Chronic Pain Network and Ontario Representative for Pain Canada.

Past President

Dr. John Xavier Pereira

MD, CM, CCFP

Previous President of the Canadian Pain Society, previous President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and a Founding Co-Chair of the Alberta Pain Strategy. He is a past Ronald Melzack Fellow of the McGill Pain Center and has spoken on the topic of chronic pain both nationally and internationally, including at the Centers for Disease Control, ANZCA Auckland, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic. He represented Western Canada on the committee of physicians who wrote our country’s National Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. Dr. John Pereira was the physician lead of FibroFOCUS, an interdisciplinary chronic pain program that won a 2016 Patient Experience Award from the Health Quality Council of Alberta. He was a member of the Canadian Pain Task Force's External Advisory Panel and a current member of Pain Canada's National Advisory Council. He has personally visited more than sixty pain clinics worldwide to learn best practices.

Treasurer

Dr. David Flusk

BAO, B.Ch, M.D.

Originally from Toronto, David Trained in both Ireland, and Newfoundland. He practices both pain medicine and anesthesiology in a community setting. He is a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Anesthesiology and faculty of medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. David is currently the Medical Director of the Atlantic Mentorship Network Pain and Addiction for Newfoundland. This mentorship Network spans Atlantic Canada and collaborates with the Center for Effective Practice and Pain BC, creating a national network of health care professionals working in Mental Health, Pain and Addictions. The AMN is a multifaceted program of mentorship which is designed to create adaptable and accessible options for providers to seek support. Its objective is to deliver practical and focused continuing professional development opportunities for healthcare professionals based on identified learning needs. David also works with the Association of Faculties of Medicine Canada as a Subject Matter Expert and contributing author on the AFMCs response to the opioid crisis project which has developed curriculum for both undergraduate and postgraduate medicine.

Secretary

Massieh Moayedi

PhD

Massieh Moayedi did his undergraduate at the University of Ottawa in Biology (in the French speaking program). He then received his PhD in Pain NeuroImaging under the supervision of Dr. Karen Davis, where he investigated brain abnormalities in individuals with chronic orofacial pain. His postdoctoral research at University College London was under the supervision of Dr. Giandomenico Iannetti, where he investigated electrocortical correlates of pain. Massieh is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry (tenured in July 2023), a University of Toronto’s Centre for the Study of Pain Scientist and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Pain NeuroImaging. He has received an IASP Early Career Research Award, and holds funding from NFRF, NSERC, CIHR, Ontario, CFI, and NIH. He is very collaborative, and works with groups across Canada, the United States and Europe. He serves the pain community both locally, nationally, and internationally: he is an Editorial Board member of PAIN and PAIN Reports, serves on several CPS committees, is co-chair of the IASP NeuroImaging of Pain SIG, and runs the international Human Pain Seminar Series. He is a strong believer in community and mentorship and supporting trainees achieve their goals, championing EDI principles. Massieh, who has chronic pain resulting from cancer treatment, uses brain imaging to study the mechanisms of acute and chronic pain in pediatric and adult populations. Specifically, his research uses a biopsychosocial lens to understand the contributions and interactions of these domains to the pain experience.

Scientific Program Committee

Dr. Gabrielle Page

PhD

A clinical psychologist and pain researcher in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the Université de Montréal. She is also a scientist at the Research Center of the Centre hospitalier du Université de Montréal. She is a Junior 1 research scholar from the Fonds de recherche du Québec en santé. She is a member of the scientific committee of the strategic initiative on low back pain and co-leads the strategic initiative on the judicious use of opioids of the Quebec Pain Research Network. Her line of research examines the bidirectional associations between stress and pain, the trajectories from acute to chronic pain, and the impact of mental and physical comorbidities on chronic pain treatment response. She has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 6 book chapters. She is the recipient of the 2018 Early Career Investigator Pain Research Grant from the Canadian Pain Society.

Awards and Grants Committee

Dr. Anna Taylor

PhD

A Canada Research Chair in Pain and Addiction and an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology. She completed her doctoral degree at the McGill Pain Center in 2011, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles in the NIH-funded Opioid Research Center. Her expertise spans the fields of opioid addiction and chronic pain. Dr. Taylor’s research program engages a broad range of disciplines including pharmacology, microbiology, genetics, and animal behaviour to provide mechanistic insight into how affective circuitry contributes to pain and addiction. Her research strives to understand how chronic pain changes affective brain circuits and whether these changes alter the effects of opioids. She explores strategies to improve opioid efficacy while minimizing addiction risk. Finally, she is developing novel, non-addicting opioid agonists to treat pain without abuse liability. This research comes at a critical juncture when safe and effective chronic pain management is increasingly challenging amidst the opioid overdose epidemic. Dr. Taylor’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes for Health, the American Pain Society, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Pain Society, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Our Executive Committee

Our 2024-2026 Executive Committee is made up of innovative and experienced healthcare professionals, scientists, and researchers who strive to uphold and maintain the integrity of the Canadian Pain Society as dedicated volunteers.

PWLE Committee

Virginia McIntyre

President and Executive Director of the People In Pain Network (PIPN). She developed persistent pain in 2009 after a shoulder surgery. Virginia holds a BA in Community Studies, a diploma in Radiological and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and completed multiple courses in leadership development. She works extensively as lived experience partner on research projects and is a proud member on several other committees which include; Pain Canada National Advisory Committee, Canadian Pain Society Communication committee, Atlantic Mentorship Network Advisory Committee and other pain related initiatives. Virginia is a public presenter focusing on pain related topics with a committed diligence to increase awareness on chronic pain.

Scientific Program Committee

Dr. Gabrielle Page

A clinical psychologist and pain researcher in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the Université de Montréal. She is also a scientist at the Research Center of the Centre hospitalier du Université de Montréal. She is a Junior 1 research scholar from the Fonds de recherche du Québec en santé. She is a member of the scientific committee of the strategic initiative on low back pain and co-leads the strategic initiative on the judicious use of opioids of the Quebec Pain Research Network. Her line of research examines the bidirectional associations between stress and pain, the trajectories from acute to chronic pain, and the impact of mental and physical comorbidities on chronic pain treatment response. She has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 6 book chapters. She is the recipient of the 2018 Early Career Investigator Pain Research Grant from the Canadian Pain Society.

EDI Committee

Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Dr. Pillai Riddell's interest in the caregiver-child relationship began as an undergraduate student at York University and has continued through her graduate research training career at the University of British Columbia, Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto. She currently is involved with two primary lines of research and participates in the leadership of other programs with colleagues from across the country.

Newsletter Committee

Ronessa Dass

More information incoming

Awards and Grants Committee

Dr. Nader Ghasemlou

An Associate Professor at Queen’s University, where he leads the Pain Chronobiology & Neuroimmunology Lab (ghasemloulab.ca) and serves as Director of Translational Pain Research at the Hotel-Dieu Hospital Chronic Pain Clinic. His research team works at the intersection of neuroimmunology, pain physiology, and circadian biology. Using various animal models of tissue injury and disease, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, postoperative wounds, and neuropathic nerve injury, the team seeks to better understand the molecular, cellular, and systems responses underlying human disease. The group is particularly focused on dissecting mechanisms underlying the generation and maintenance of inflammation in the central and peripheral nervous system. All projects in the lab include bioinformatics component to identify genes/pathways regulating cell function, and patient cohort studies which provide a translational component to our work. Nader completed his PhD at McGill University and was a CIHR Banting Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He is recipient of a CPS/Pfizer Early Career Award, a Brain Canada Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Award, and the Canadian Anesthesiology Society’s New Investigator Award. Projects in the Pain Chronobiology & Neuroimmunology Lab are currently funded by grants from CIHR, NSERC, the MS Society of Canada, and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Nader also serves on the CPS Scientific Program and Membership & Engagement Committees; is co-chair of the Knowledge Translation Committee and sits on the Executive of the CIHR-SPOR Chronic Pain Network; and is a member of the Education & Training Committee of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s endMS Training Program.

Trainee Representative

Dr. Emmanuel Abreu

An international medical doctor with a Master’s degree in Bioethics. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Public Health with a concentration on Epidemiology. Emmanuel has a vested interest in medical equality for all, and has dedicated his professional career in this pursuit. For the past five years, his work to improve the quality of care to vulnerable populations included the development of clinical campaigns providing assistance to under-serviced areas around Latin-America. Specifically, he collaborated with a team coordinating multi-centric clinical trials and projects for HIV and Hepatitis B treatment research and development. This work was sponsored by the government of the United States of America and a number of pharmaceutical associates. Emmanuel firmly believes that the best medicine is prevention, and the cornerstone of his career goals has always been to make this medical care accessible to all. Having now found his new home in Canada with CHANGEpain Clinic, he looks forward to working towards their mission as Research Director. Emmanuel is the project lead for the Doctors of BC Surgical Patients Optimization Collaborative. CHANGEpain has been chosen as one of 18 multi-disciplinary teams and is the only community based clinic as part of the ambitious 3 year initiative to improve post-op patient outcomes. CHANGEpain is examining the prehabilitation and early intervention strategies in collaboration with Dr. Kelly Mayson’s team at Vancouver General Hospital.

Neuropathic Pain Management Special Interest Group

Dr. Anuj Bhatia

An Associate Professor at University of Toronto and Clinical Director, Acute and Chronic Pain Services at Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). He is also the Chair of the Neuropathic Pain SIG of the CPS, Treasurer of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society, and one of five voting members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Pain Medicine Specialty committee. His clinical and research interests include use of wearable technology and epidemiological tools for assessing outcomes of treatments for pain, fluoroscopy and ultrasound-guided procedures for chronic neuropathic, musculoskeletal, and cancer pain, and neuromodulation. He has published over 50 papers, six book chapters, and co-authored two books on ultrasound-guided interventional pain procedures. Dr. Bhatia a member of the Editorial Board of Anesthesia & Analgesia, the European Journal of Pain, and Pain Medicine. He is also an Examiner for certification examinations of the World Institute of Pain and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.

Interventional Pain Management Special Interest Group

Dr. Harsha Shanthanna

An anesthesiologist and chronic pain physician working at St. Joseph’s hospital, Hamilton and an Associate Professor in Anesthesia, at McMaster University. He is also the Associate Chair, Research, Department of Anesthesia, and Research Director for the Pain Residency program at McMaster University. He is the present Chair, Interventional SIG, for the CPS, and has served in this role for the last five years. Harsha’s pain practice includes both interventional and non-interventional approaches, including neurostimulation. His research areas include optimizing perioperative pain, chronic pain management, persisting post-surgical pain, and the use of cannabis for pain. Harsha has been the recipient of many research awards including the Trainee Research Award, Canadian Pain Society (CPS-2011), Carl Koller Memorial Research Grant by American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA- 2016), and the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS) Career Scientist Award-2018. Harsha has published more than 70 peer reviewed publications, one i-book and seven book chapters.

Interprofessional Special Interest Group

Elysia Bronson

Elysia Bronson, the Counseling Director at The Woods Counselling, leads a dynamic online therapy practice serving clients across Canada. Specializing in chronic pain management, she integrates cutting-edge mental health therapies such as polyvagal theory, Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and somatic therapy. She collaborates regularly with leading experts in the field to stay at the forefront of pain management research and interprofessional education. Her close collaboration with Pain BC and patients' medical practitioners enhances accessibility to online mental health services for individuals navigating chronic pain and illnesses. Elysia's approach, enriched by personal insights and active participation in group training and pain research, consistently achieves transformative outcomes, significantly enhancing the quality of life for her patients.

Interprofessional Special Interest Group

Victoria Bains

Victoria Bains is a Registered Nurse with the Comprehensive Integrated Pain Program – Interventional Pain Services (CIPP-IPS) at the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario. She is the Program coordinator for the Neuromodulation for Pain Program at CIPP-IPS. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at the University of Windsor and is currently completing her Masters of Nursing in Clinical Nursing at the University of Toronto. Victoria Bains is a board member representing Allied Health in the Canadian Neuromodulation Society. She has over 14 years of clinical experience in both hospital and community setting in the domains of palliative care, chronic pain management and utilization of neuromodulation therapies.

Our Leadership Team

Our Leadership Teams are made up of healthcare professionals, scientists, researchers and individuals living with chronic pain who are committed to advocating for better access to quality care and maintain the integrity of the Canadian Pain Society as dedicated volunteers.

Chair - Virginia McIntyre 

Vice Chair - Jennifer Daly Cyr 

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Chair - Anna Taylor

Co-Chair - Nader Ghasemlou

President - Hance Clarke

President Elect - Tania Di Renna

Secretary - Massieh Moayedi 

Treasurer - David Flusk

Clinical Science Rep - Tim Salomons

Basic Science Rep - Arkady Khoutorsky

​Trainee Rep - Emmanual Abreu

Nicole Alberts

Emeralda Burke

Zoha Deldar

Giannina Descalzi

Natasha Gallant

Michelle Gagnon

Gabrielle Pagé

Laurie Proulx

Reza Sharif Naeini

Perri Tutelman

Judy Watt-Watson

Chair: Carlos Gevers-Montoro

Co Chair:  Virginia McIntyre

Emmanuel Abreu

Guilia Mesaroli

Melissa O'Brien

Nathasha Trehan

Ana Leticia Simal

Iulia Tufa

Lea Vespa

Co-Chair - Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Co-Chair - Lynn Gauthier

Emmanuel Abreu

Mélanie Bérubé

Karen Davis

Giannina Descalzi

Teresa Evans

Elise Kammerer

Therese Lane

Vina Mohabir

Ria Nishikawara

Patricia Simmons

Sadra Taheri

Anna Taylor

Iulia Tufa

Sandra Woods

Dave Walton

Chair - Gabrielle Page

Co Chair - Bradley Kerr

Javeria Hashmi
Massieh Moayedi
Hance Clarke
Raj Khanna
Giannina Descalzi
Jillian Vinall Miller

Luda Diatchenko

Karen Davis
Geoff Bostick

Anuj Bhatia

Susan Tupper
Katie Birnie
Bruce Hollett
Lydia Hatcher
Irina Kudrina

Jonathan Hudon

Erika Harding

Carmen-Edith Bellei-Rodriguez

Carley Ouelette

Janice Sumpton

Jennifer Daly Cyr

Lesley Singer

Lori Montgomery

Mary-Ann Fitzcharles

Ronessa Dass

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Co-Chair - Bradley Kerr

Co-Chair - John Pereira

Co-Chair - Helena Daudt

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Our Dedicated Committees

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