COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC:
Get the latest research information from NIH:
NIH staff guidance on coronavirus (NIH Only)

Chronic Pain Grand Challenge

You are viewing archived Blueprint content that is no longer current but is available for reference and record keeping purposes.

The Challenge

Chronic pain is a major public health problem, and treatments are limited. More research is needed to fully understand how acute pain evolves into chronic pain, who will develop chronic pain, and how to develop better treatments to prevent the transition. 

The NIH Pain Consortium, a collaboration of 25 Institutes, Centers, and Offices from across NIH, developed and presented a proposal to support a series of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to address the need for additional research on the transition from acute to chronic neuropathic pain. The proposal’s objectives were based on recommendations provided by outside experts during a workshop hosted by the NIH.

The Blueprint Grand Challenge on Chronic Neuropathic Pain seeks to shed light on the molecular, cellular and circuit-level changes – or neuroplasticity – underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain. A key element of the program is to form research collaborations between experts on pain and experts on neuroplasticity to better understand how to successfully intervene at an early stage before the pain becomes chronic.

Across the Federal government, the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) has performed an analysis of the Federal pain research portfolio and identified the discovery of risk factors and mechanisms that predict and underlie the transition from acute to chronic pain as an important research area that needs further development. This report, as well as a pain research database, recently was released.

Mechanisms of Support

The Grand Challenge on Chronic Pain supports research through:

  • Multi-PI R01 grants focused on understanding the maladaptive neurobiological changes that occur during the transition from acute to neuropathic pain.
  • Competitive revisions that propose a collaborative, one year pilot study or a new specific aim associated with an active NIH grant. These initial studies are expected to lead to long term collaborations focused on the transition from acute to chronic neuropathic pain.

Additional Information

Funded Projects

Title PI Institution Grant Type
Preventing Transition of Acute-to-Chronic Neuropathic Pain: Models, Mechanisms & Interventions Watkins, Linda University of Colorado at Boulder Multi-PI R01
VGF, Critical Role in the Transition from Acute to Chronic Pain Vulchanova, Lyudmila University of Minnesota Twin Cities Multi-PI R01
Epigenetic and Genetic Contributors to Chronic Neuropathic Pain Basbaum, Allan University of California San Francisco Multi-PI R01
TSC2 and ERK signaling in Motor-Dependent Regeneration and Neuropathic Pain Cavalli, Valeria Washington University St. Louis Multi-PI R01
Epigenetic Mechanisms of Neuropathic Pain Pan, Hui-Lin University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Multi-PI R01
Hemichannels, Astrocytic Release, and Neuropathic Pain Ji, Ru-Rong Duke University Multi-PI R01
Neuronal Subtype-Specific Plasticity in the Acute to Chronic Pain Transition Ginty, David Johns Hopkins University Multi-PI R01
Cortico-striatal Plasticity in the Transition to Chronic Pain Apkarian, Vania Northwestern University Multi-PI R01
Proteolysis of Myelin as a Source of Neuropathic Pain Shubayev, Veronica University of California San Diego Multi-PI R01


Previously Funded Projects

Title PI Institution Grant Type
Altered Sensibility Following Peripheral Nerve Damage Woolf, Clifford Children's Hospital Boston Competitive Revision
Mechanisms Regulating Vesicular Axonal Transport Following Nerve Injury Cavalli, Valeria Washington University St. Louis Competitive Revision