Five UCL scientists from pain research lab win awards and appointments

25 September 2009

infant

Five young pain researchers from one laboratory in UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology have won prestigious awards and appointments.

Professor Maria Fitzgerald’s laboratory focuses its research on how children process and learn to cope with pain and the effectiveness of pain-relieving drugs in infants.

Three members of the laboratory have won awards and two postdoctoral scientists have secured lectureships at high-profile UK universities.

They are:

  • Dr Rebeccah Slater – won a EFIC-Grünenthal Grant 2009 for her work on cortical pain processing in human infants using EEG and fMRI. Dr Slater is an MRC-funded postdoctoral scientist.
  • Dr Suellen Walker –  awarded the 2009 IASP Young Investigator Award in Pediatric Pain for her basic laboratory and human research on inflammatory and surgical pain in infants and the long-term consequences of pain in early life. Dr Walker is Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
  • Ms Lucie Low – awarded the 2009 IASP John J. Bonica Trainee Fellowship to learn brain imaging in Cathy Bushnell’s lab at McGill University, extending her PhD studies on the developmental interaction between pain and reward processing in the brain. Ms Low is a Wellcome Trust London Pain Consortium PhD student.  
  • Dr Gareth Hathway –  appointed as a lecturer in Neuroscience at Nottingham University where he will continue his research on the development of brainstem control of infant pain using in vivo neuropharmacology and electrophysiology. Dr Hathway is an MRC & Wellcome Trust-funded postdoctoral scientist.  
  • Dr Rachel Ingram – appointed as a lecturer in Pharmacology at Oxford University where she will continue her research into the synaptic development of pain circuits in the spinal cord using in vitro and in vivo patch electrophysiology. Dr Ingram is an MRC & Wellcome Trust-funded postdoctoral scientist.

Professor Fitzgerald said: “This is a wonderful reflection of the scientific excellence of my young colleagues and the research environment here at UCL, especially at a time when many young people are worried about future funding in academic science. It is also a recognition that this kind of basic neuroscientific research has direct relevance for human health and quality of life.”

For more information about the work of the Fitzgerald laboratory follow the link above.

Image: A newborn infant wearing a cap with integral electrodes which can record cortical pain activity when routine blood samples are taken (reproduced with permission)