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2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Agenda
28-30 April 2021

Wednesday, april 28 - day 1

All times listed at Eastern Daylight Time.  Sessions will be recorded and available to registrants post event. 

10.00 - 10.45

Posters and Exhibition Open

10.45 - 11.15

Opening Remarks

Speakers: Karen Davis, CPS President; Loren Martin, SPC Chair, Fiona Campbell & Maria Hudspith, Canadian Pain Task Force Co-Chairs; Address by the Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

11.15 – 12.00 

Mary Ellen Jeans Keynote, David Bennett, MB, PhD, University of Oxford

‘Applying a multi-modal approach to understanding neuropathic pain: studying small neurons in the era of big data.’

12.00 – 13.30 

Wednesday Breakout Sessions

  1. The role of altered cognitive processing of bodily sensations in pain: A need for innovative and integrative research’ Dimitri Van Ryckeghem, Aline Wauters, Tanja Hechler
  2. ‘Innovations in post-surgical pain management across lifespan: Patient partner, clinical, and research perspectives’ Joel Katz, Janice Sumpton, Maria Pavlova, Hance Clarke
  3. ‘Engaging people with lived experience through integrated knowledge translation: From basic pain research design to knowledge synthesis to clinical policy impact’ Kathryn Birnie, Nader Ghasemlou, Linda Wilhelm
  4. ‘COVID-19 human nociceptors, and pain’ Rajesh Khanna, Theodore Price, chronic pain patients with
    COVID-19 (TBA)

13.30 - 14.30

Break | Poster Sessions | Exhibitors

14.30 – 16.00 

Wednesday Breakout Sessions

  1. 'Understanding pain as bodily threat: new perspectives to unite psychological assessment, human neuroscience, and behavioral treatment’ Lydia Tam, Lauren Heathcote, Javeria Ali Hashmi, Johan Vlaeyen
  2. Diverse phenotypes and functions of microglia in pain’ Arkady Khoutorsky, Shannon Tansley, Simon Beggs,Michael Salter
  3. ‘Innovations in chronic pain management: individualized and targeted interventions’ Nivez Rasic, Lauren Harrison, Vishal Varshney, Jillian Vinall Miller   
  4. ‘When Public Health Crises Collide: Managing Cancer Pain Amidst the North American Opioid Crisis and COVID-19 Pandemic’ Sitara de Gagne, Judith Paice, Perri Tutelman, Lynn Gauthier

16.00 - 18.00 

Posters Sessions | Exhibitors

18.00 - 19.00

Trainee Mentoring Sessions:

  • How to give an engaging talk; 
  • Developing your research program; 
  • Patient engagement in research; 
  • Finding a postdoctoral fellowship; 
  • Grant writing: tips and tricks; 
  • Careers beyond the academy

Thursday, April 29 - Day 2

All times listed at Eastern Daylight Time.  Sessions will be recorded and available to registrants post event. 

10.00 - 11.00

Posters and Exhibition Open

10.00 - 11.00

Special Session: Jump in with SKIP

SKIP is a knowledge mobilization network supporting mobilization of evidence-based solutions to improve pediatric pain care in Canada. This working session will support pain researchers of any kind (pediatric or adult, basic or clinical science) to develop their own knowledge mobilization (KM) plan for developing, ongoing, or completed research. Attendees will be introduced to a KM planning tool, and will leave with clearer KM main messages, goals, patient engagement, and activities specific to their own work. SKIP will highlight diverse partnerships that can be leveraged to attain effective KM.

11.00 - 11.15

Opening Remarks

11.15 - 12.00

Plenary Session: Sarah E. Ross, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

‘The spinal circuits of itch and pain’

12.00 - 12.45

Plenary Session: Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, Stanford University

‘Learning Health Systems for Optimized Care and Real-World Innovative Research’

12.45 - 13.30 

Break | Poster Sessions | Exhibitors

13.30 – 14.45

Thursday Breakout Session One

  • The social neuroscience of empathy for pain and touch’ Inge Timmers, Marina López-Solà, Loren Martin
  • ‘Management of chronic pain in the era of COVID-19: Implications for pain clinics, patients’ reality, and potential solutions’ Manon Choinière, Mary Lynch, Anaïs Lacasse, Patricia Poulin
  • ‘Knowledge translation interventions across the lifespan: Strategies for promoting uptake of evidence-based pain interventions from infancy to older adulthood’  Thomas Hadjistavropolous, Marsha Campbell-Yeo,
    Nicole MacKenzie
  • ‘Cannabis and pain: putting the horse back before the cart’ Tania Di Renna, Martha Glenny, Karen Ng,
    Hance Clarke

14.45 - 15.30 

Break | Poster Sessions | Exhibitors

15.30 - 17.00

Thursday Breakout Session Two

  • ‘From CNS mechanisms of pain to pain biomarkers’ Mathieu Roy, Christian Büchel, Tor Wager,
    Choong-Wan Woo
  • ‘Quantitative Sensory Testing in Pain Research: Methods, Applications, and Future Directions Across the Lifespan’ Perri Tutelman, Javeria Ali Hashmi, Roger Fillingim
  • ‘Disparities in child pain care: Antecedents, consequences and underlying mechanisms’ Tine Vervoort,
    Megan Miller, Lindsey Cohen, Fleur Baert
  • ‘From Post-Operative Pain to Chronic Pain and Even In-Between: Understanding Psychological and Pharmacological Mechanisms of Pediatric Prolonged Pain States’ Rebecca Pillai Riddell, Cheryl Chow,
    Deepa Kattail, Melanie Noel

17.00 – 18.00

Posters Sessions | Exhibitors

Friday, april 30 - Day 3

All times listed at Eastern Daylight Time.  Sessions will be recorded and available to registrants post event. 

10.00 - 11.00

Posters and Exhibition Open

11.00 - 11.15

Opening Remarks

11.15 – 11.45

2021 Distinguished Career Award Keynote: Gerald W. Zamponi, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS

'Molecular physiology of pain – from calcium channels to brain circuits'

11.45 - 12.15

2021 Early Career Award Keynote: Reza Sharif-Naeini, PhD

'Sensing mechanical pain, from molecules to behavior'

12.15 - 13.00

Break | Poster Sessions | Exhibitors

13.00 – 14.30

Friday Breakout Session

  • Mechanisms of pain learning and motivation: neurobiological mechanisms and computational models’
    Mathieu Roy, Ben Seymour, Susanne Becker, Clay Holroyd
  • ‘Using digital technologies for pain management and education across the age spectrum: Experiences from three provinces’ Susan Tupper, Jennifer Stinson, Samina Ali
  • ‘People who Live with Chronic Pain - Efforts in Research and Beyond’ Richard Hovey, Jennifer Daly-Cyr, Therese Lane, Jacques Laliberté
  • Hot Topics:
  1. Abnormal subgenual anterior cingulate cortex functional connectivity in carpal tunnel syndrome is influenced by sex: Natalie Osborne, UHN
  2. Chronic pain needs assessment in Saskatchewan: hearing experiences of people with lived experience, healthcare providers, and decision-makers in three communities: Jessica Jack, University of Saskatchewan
  3. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Sex Differences in Orofacial Pain: Sukhbir Kaur, Texas Women's University
  4. Preoperative Memory Specificity Predicts Pain Status One Month after Major Surgery: Anna Waisman
  5. Pain Rehabilitation Virtual Reality (PRVR): Adoption, feasibility and acceptability of an innovative treatment for Canadian youth with persistent pain: Giulia Mesaroli, The Hospital for Sick Children
  6. Efficacy of Memantine for Phantom Limb Pain: Christian Roehmer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


End of the 2021 ASM. See you IN PERSON at our 2022 ASM, May 10- 13, in Montreal!

Keynote & Plenary Speakers

Mary Ellen Jeans Keynote Lecture

Dr. David Bennett, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology, Head of the Division of Clinical Neurology, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford

David Bennett is Professor of neurology and neurobiology at the University of Oxford and honorary consultant neurologist. His sub-specialty interest is peripheral neuropathy and neuropathic pain; he administers the neuropathy and pain channelopathy clinic at Oxford University Hospitals. He completed neurology training in London and moved to Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Oxford in 2012 where he is head of the Division of Clinical Neurology. He is currently a senior Wellcome clinical scientist. His research interest is to understand the process of nerve injury and repair and prevent unwanted outcomes such as neuropathic pain. He takes a broad experimental approach to this problem ranging from understanding ion channel biology to clinical trials.

Research Highlights:

  • Genetic basis of inherited painful channelopathies such as familial episodic pain syndrome.
  • Identification of signaling events which lead to neuropathic pain.
  • Improved means of patient stratification.
  • Identification and assessment of new pain therapeutics using clinical trials.

Basic Science Plenary

Dr. Sarah Ross, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

Sarah Ross was born in London ON, and did her undergraduate training at the University of Western Ontario. She received her doctorate in physiology from the University of Michigan, studying the differentiation of fat cells with Ormond MacDougald. As a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, she studied neural specification by transcription factors with Michael Greenberg. Serendipitously, these studies led to the identification of a population of inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord that normally inhibit itch. Since 2011, she has been directing a research program at the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research to study the circuits of itch (and now pain) in more detail. Ross’ lab has consistently been funded through NIH grants and private foundations, including the Rita Allen Foundation, Whitehall Foundation, Fight for Sight, and the American Hearing Research Foundation. She is also passionate about mentoring trainees, for which she has received the Biomedical Graduate Student Association's Distinguished Mentor Award.

Research Highlights:

  • Neural circuits of itch and pain
  • Generate novel genetic tools to study populations of spinal neurons
  • Perform axon circuit mapping using viruses
  • Elucidate neural coding using optogenetics and electrophysiology

Clinical Lecture Plenary

Dr. Sean Mackey, MD, PhD

Chief, Division of Pain Medicine, Redlich Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

Sean Mackey is Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Neurosciences and Neurology at Stanford University. Dr. Mackey received his BSE and MSE in Bioengineering from University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as his M.D. from the University of Arizona.

Under Dr. Mackey’s leadership, the Stanford Pain Management Center has twice been designated a Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society (APS). As Director of the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab, his primary research interest involves the use of advanced psychophysical, neurobehavioral and neuroimaging tools to investigate chronic pain.

Currently, he is developer of a free, open-source learning health system—CHOIR. Dr. Mackey has served as principal investigator for multiple NIH (P01, R01’s, U01, K24, T32, and R21) and foundation sponsored grants to investigate mechanisms of chronic pain.

Dr. Mackey is author of over 200 journal articles and book chapters in addition to numerous national and international lectures. He is past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Dr. Mackey co-authored the Institute of Medicine’s report, Relieving Pain in America. He was co-chair of the Oversight Committee for the NIH/Health and Human Services National Pain Strategy (NPS), an effort to establish a national health strategy for pain care, education, and research. In the last few years he has received the American Pain Society Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award; the AAPM’s Pain Medicine Fellowship Award, Distinguished Service Award, and Robert G. Addison, MD Award, and NIH Directors’ Award for his efforts on the NPS.

Research Highlights:

  1. Characterizing central nervous system mechanisms of the human pain experience and its modulation and using this to develop biomarkers
  2. Development and use of an open-source learning healthcare system (CHOIR) to transform the care of people with pain, and serve as a platform for innovative research in real-world clinic patients.
  3. Novel therapies for pain including transcranial magnetic stimulation, virtual reality, psychological and pharmacological therapies.

2021 Career Award Keynotes

2021 Distinguished Career Award Keynote

Gerald W. Zamponi, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS

Canada Research Chair in Molecular Neuroscience, Senior Associate Dean for Research, Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Dr. Gerald Zamponi is Senior Associate Dean for Research and Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He previously served as the Head of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. He received his undergraduate training in Engineering Physics from the Johannes Kepler University in Austria, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Calgary and postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Dr. Zamponi’s research addresses how ion channels and receptors contribute to neurological disorders such as chronic pain, with the goal of developing strategies to regulate ion channel function for therapeutic intervention. His work also deciphers the functional connectomics of brain circuits that process pain signals. He has published over 300 articles, is an inventor on 12 issued US patents, and has given over 250 invited lectures across the globe. In addition to having been an Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Scientist and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Investigator, he is currently a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Neurobiology. He is an elected Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, as was recently elected into the National Academy of Inventors (USA).

2021 Early Career Award Keynote

Reza Sharif-Naeini, PhD

Dr. Sharif Naeini is a neurophysiologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. He received his B.Sc. in Biochemisty from Université de Montréal in 1999, followed by a M.Sc. in Psychiatry and a Ph.D. in Physiology from McGill University in 2007. He continued his postdoctoral studies in Biophysics at Sophia Antipolis in France and in Anatomy & Genetics at UCSF.

He is the newly appointed Director of the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain (AECRP), the Director of the Strategic Initiative on Neuronal Mapping of the Quebec Pain Research Network, a member of the Pain Scholars Leadership Committee of the Rita Allen Foundation, and Associate Editor for the journal PAIN. He received several awards during his career, including the Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience and the Early Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society.

Dr. Sharif leads the pain research laboratory within the Cell Information Systems group, focusing on identifying novel pain sensors, discovering the mechanisms of chronic pain, and translating these lab discoveries into effective therapies for patients. His research is supported by grants from the Fonds de Recherche du Quebec, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as several philanthropic foundations.

Dr. Sharif is a strong advocate for the enhancement of training environment for students, pushing the boundaries of technology development, and promoting knowledge translation to establish stronger roots with the community.

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