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Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC) 9th Annual Scientific Meeting

Date: 29/03/2019 to 29/03/2019 Venue: West Park Conference Centre, Dundee

Save the date! SPaRC will be hosting its 9th Annual Scientific Meeting on the 29th of March 2019 in West Park Conference Centre, Dundee.

More details will be announced soon and will follow the success of our previous ASMs and demonstrate the strength of Scotland's pain research community.


Among the keynote speakers were Professor David Williams from the University of Michigan, who is Associate Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and also President of the American Pain Society and Professor Andrew Todd, who is a Professor of Neuroscience and an Associate in Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Professor David Williams provided a talk on “Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions: mechanisms, assessment and treatment” and Professor Andrew Todd provided a talk on “Neuronal circuitry for pain and itch processing in the spinal dorsal horn”. We also had a talk from Alan McNair, Senior Research Manager at the Chief Scientist Office, regarding CSO support for research.


The Seventh SPaRC Annual Scientific Meeting was held in Dundee on 24th March 2017. We were honoured to have Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen (President-Elect, International Association for the Study of Pain) and Dr Jonathan Hill (Senior Lecturer, Keele University) as keynote speakers. Professor Lars Arendt-Nielson provided a talk on “Translational Pain Research: From Animals to Chronic Pain Patients” and Dr Jonothan Hill provided a talk on “Improving MSK rehabilitation - where do we go next?”. There were research papers presented by all levels, from students to Professors. This was also the first year that the datablitz was introduced, where delegates were given one minute to present their poster, which was very successful. We also had a talk from Charles Weller (NHS Research Scotland) about developing research networks in Scotland. Pain is now a recognised research area by NHS Research Scotland.


At the SPaRC ASM 2016 we had talks from Dr Sue Ellen Walker, based at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, on “Does neonatal pain alter sensory processing in young adults? Information from clinical and laboratory studies”. Another keynote speaker was Prof Irene Tracey, a world leader in pain imaging, on “Dissecting and understanding your patient’s pain using advanced neuroimaging”. Other oral presentations included Sex-dependent tetrodotoxin modulation of rat C-fibre activity-dependent slowing in inflammatory pain and Pain-Related Emergency Care Presentations by Patients with Terminal Cancer.


At the SPaRC ASM 2015 we had excellent talks from Prof Rolf Detlef Treede, president of IASP on “Gait Control Mechanisms of Pain Sensitivity” & Prof Gordon Hendry of Glasgow Caledonian University on “Musculoskeletal Pain of the Foot: Does it work well under pressure?”. Other talks included Establishing an Intensive Residential Pain Management Programme in Scotland and Mitochondria-targeted antioxidants attenuate paclitaxel-induced mechanical hypersensitivity in vivo.



The 2014 meeting was again held in Dundee, with presentations of research from around Scotland. Keynote presentations were given by Prof Andrew Rice on “Touching a Raw Nerve: Painful Neuropathies and HIV” & Dr William Campbell on the role of the British Pain Society. Other talks included Opioid prescribing across Scotland – rates and variations and Mindfulness- based Interventions for Adults with Chronic Pain.


The third SPaRC Annual Scientific Meeting was held in Dundee on 28th March 2013. The two keynote speakers were Professor Fernando Cervero and Professor Richard Langford. Professor Fernando Cervero, from McGill University in Montreal, is President of the International Association for the Study of Pain. He has an international reputation for his research on the neurophysiology of pain and analgesia, and among many other achievements and contributions to our field, co-founded and edited the European Journal of Pain. Professor Richard Langford, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Bart's and The London NHS Trust, is President of the British Pain Society and one of the most active figures in academic and political pain circles in the UK and abroad. We had other talks about treating neuropathic pain in the community and Delta opioid receptors increase constitutive β-arrestin2 coupling to mu opioid receptors.

Find out more about pain research in Scotland.

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