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Mary Ellen Jeans Keynote lecture


A podcast of an interview with Professor Maria Fitzgerald where she talks about her early career

"Being Brave and Asking Questions" can be found here.


Prof. Maria Fitzgerald

Maria Fitzgerald studies the developmental physiology and neurobiology of pain circuits in the brain and spinal cord.  Her work has had a major impact on our understanding of how pain perception emerges in childhood and how early pain experience can shape pain sensitivity for life.   Maria studied Physiological Sciences at Oxford University and trained in pain physiology and neuroscience with Patrick Wall FRS at UCL, who taught her to love science and to never be afraid of asking questions.  She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Anaesthetists (Faculty of Pain Medicine) in 2013, and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.  She was awarded Honorary Membership of British Pain Society and of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) in 2018 and the Feldburg prize 2021.  Her research has shown that while basic nociception is functional at birth, the systems in the spinal cord and brain that determine pain perception central pain control develop later in childhood and are vulnerable to stress and trauma in early life.   She has changed clinical perception by showing that pain in children requires appropriate measurement and treatment which should be tailored to the developmental stage of the child.   Maria is currently Professor of Developmental Neurobiology at University College London.

Plenary Lectures


Prof. Allan Basbaum

Allan Basbaum completed undergraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal, where he began his pain research studies with Ronald Melzack, his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and postdoctoral research at University College London, with Patrick Wall. Presently, he is professor and chair of the Department of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on peripheral and central nervous system mechanisms that process pain and itch messages, including the molecular mechanisms that contribute to chronic pain after tissue or nerve injury. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of PAIN, the journal of the IASP, treasurer of the IASP, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and is a fellow of the Royal Society in the United Kingdom. He is presently a member of NINDS Council and the HEAL Initiative panel.



Prof. Nanna Brix Finnerup

Nanna Brix Finnerup, MD, DrMedSc, is Professor and head of the Danish Pain Research Center, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Dr. Finnerup has authored >200 peer-reviewed papers. Her main research interest is the pathophysiology and therapy of neuropathic pain. Current research areas include painful chemotherapy and diabetic polyneuropathy, postsurgical neuropathic pain, spinal cord injury pain, cerebral palsy, thermal sensory integration, neurophysiological and molecular assessment of pain mechanisms, neuropharmacology, stratified clinical trials, and systematic reviews. Dr. Finnerup is section editor of the journal Pain and past-chair of NeuPSIG, the neuropathic pain SIG of IASP and past president of the Scandinavian Association for the Study of pain (SASP). She has been member of the IASP task forces on Cannabinoids, Classification of Pain Diseases, and Definition of Pain.


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