The definition of pain is "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage." Chronic pain (or pain that persists or recurs for longer than three months) is a global health crisis with growing and unmet medical needs.
The biopsychosocial model of pain is now widely accepted as the most comprehensive approach to understanding pain, i.e., that pain is a multidimensional, dynamic integration among physiological, psychological, and social factors that reciprocally influence one another. During the last 50 years, researchers have made important progress toward understanding the molecular mechanisms and neurobiological foundations of pain, but few of these discoveries have been successfully translated into new and efficacious treatments or other patient-relevant advances.
Launched in June 2011, the Pain Research Forum (PRF), a production of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), is an interactive web community dedicated to accelerating the discovery of new treatments for pain. Modeled on the highly successful Alzforum and similar sites, PRF is a virtual meeting place for investigators in academia, industry, medicine, and other fields, who are working toward new treatments for pain. At PRF, researchers can gain new knowledge, improve information sharing between labs and the clinic, foster new collaborations, and raise interest in pain research among a global community of scientists and clinicians.
PRF began as a joint venture of the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center and MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease Informatics prior to fully integrating with IASP in 2017. PRF was launched with funding from two private foundations, and today is thankful for the support it receives from organizations around the globe.
PRF's mission is to foster discussion and collaboration that will speed the acquisition of new knowledge and its translation into novel treatments for pain.