UNE’s Ed Bilsky Combats Chronic Pain by Helping Organize Public Neuroscience Symposium in Washington, D.C.

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For 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, every day involves a struggle. To address this issue, Ed Bilsky, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and vice president for Research and Scholarship at the University of New England (UNE), will present his research on chronic pain’s long-term impact and the benefits and risks of current treatment options.

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Ed Bilsky

Dr. Bilsky and his colleagues at UNE continue to do terrific work to advance our understanding of chronic pain

For 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, every day involves a struggle. To address this issue, Ed Bilsky, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and vice president for Research and Scholarship at the University of New England (UNE), will present his research on chronic pain’s long-term impact and the benefits and risks of current treatment options. The talk will be part of a symposium entitled, “Tangled Up in Blue: The Complexity of Chronic Pain” on March 18, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

As founding director for the UNE Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, Bilsky oversees research in the areas of pain, addiction and other neurological disorders. Using his extensive research as a guide, Bilsky works with community organizations and patient advocacy groups to increase public awareness of the symptoms and impact of acute and chronic pain.

Chronic pain constitutes a serious health, social and economic challenge worldwide, resulting in more than 500 billion dollars in direct and indirect medical costs annually. “Tangled Up in Blue” will serve as a forum to discuss recent findings from the fields of neuroscience and medicine that can help guide decisions concerning pain management, policymaking, treatments and better approaches to educating health professionals.

“Dr. Bilsky and his colleagues at UNE continue to do terrific work to advance our understanding of chronic pain,” said Maine Senator Angus King. “The success story of the University’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences and its NIH COBRE grant for the study of pain and sensory function is also a story of collaboration, and through his collective efforts with the Dana Foundation, Dr. Bilsky is furthering that cooperation at the national level. Maine is very proud of what he and UNE are doing.”

Bilsky will be joined by Cindy Steinberg, national director of Policy & Advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation; David Borsook, M.D., Ph.D., professor of anesthesia for the P.A.I.N. Research Group; and David Thomas, Ph.D., deputy division director in the Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Speaking to people suffering from chronic pain has reinforced the value of the work UNE scientists are performing to better understand its basic biology,” Bilsky commented. “UNE’s unique interprofessional education platform is having an immediate positive impact in the field, while helping future healthcare professionals to prevent and treat chronic pain for the future.”    

To request an interview with Ed Bilsky prior to the event, please contact Jen Porto at jporto(at)une(dot)edu, or call (207) 221-4376.

This public symposium is part of a larger series on “Neuroscience and Society” sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and The Dana Foundation, and will be held at AAAS headquarters.

About UNE
The University of New England (UNE) is an innovative health sciences university grounded in the liberal arts. It has two distinctive coastal Maine campuses and a campus in Tangier, Morocco. With internationally recognized scholars in the sciences, health, medicine and the humanities, UNE offers more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs, and is home to Maine’s only medical and dental schools. It is one of a select group of private universities with a comprehensive health education mission that includes medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine, nursing and an array of allied health professions. Visit http://www.une.edu.

About the American Association for the Advancement of Science
AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS, founded in 1848, includes some 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving ten million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy as well as in international programs, science education, and other areas. For the latest research news, log on to EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

About The Dana Foundation
The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization with a particular interest in brain research. In addition to awarding grants for research in neuroscience, Dana produces books and periodicals from the Dana Press; founded and now coordinates the global Brain Awareness week campaign; and supports the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a nonprofit organization of more than 350 neuroscientists, including nine Nobel laureates, committed to advancing public awareness of the progress of brain research. For more information, please visit http://www.dana.org.
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