American Pain Society Meeting Presents Wide-Ranging Program for Basic and Clinical Scientists

Jun 12, 2017

The 36th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society in Pittsburgh last month featured an update on the U.S. National Pain Strategy by Drs. Linda Porter and Thomas Novotny. This strategy, the result of a tremendous amount of work, should serve as the blueprint for pain research, education, and management for the foreseeable future.

The program incorporated an exciting menu of 34 rapid-fire lectures on the latest in basic research efforts spanning the use of invertebrate models to cutting-edge imaging techniques. The meeting included a data blitz consisting of ten outstanding basic and clinical research presentations from the next generation of leaders in the pain field.

In the opening plenary, Dr. David Katz challenged the more than 1,000 attendees to reframe the problem of pain, if not all health problems, in the context of simple strategies of prevention. Additional plenary speakers included Dr. Timothy J. Brennan, who addressed IASP’s Global Year Against Pain After Surgery, and Drs. Karen Davis and Lynn Debar.

Dr. Robert Kerns presented the Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Lecture, and Dr. Robert Gereau presented the Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Lecture; these awards are APS’s most prestigious honors recognizing clinical and basic scientists.

The meeting was as action packed as ever, with plenty of innovative science in the form of more than 370 posters and 26 symposia. The winners of the posters were Analise Zapadka,a recent graduateofthe Duquesne University Department of Biological Sciences for basic science, and Dr. Mark Bicket, of the Johns Hopkins Department of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine for clinical science.

New features of the meeting that were particularly well received included symposia consisting of oral presentations of the top clinical and basic research abstracts selected by the program committee, attendee voting on the best basic and clinical abstracts, a debate on the use of opioids for chronic pain, and TED-style talks on topics ranging from pediatric pain to the assessment of the psychosocial influence of pain in preclinical studies. With a spectacular stretch of weather, attendees willing to miss a little science were able to venture outside and enjoy a sample of what the host city Pittsburgh has to offer.