At the Pain Management Research Institute, our vision is to be a global leader in comprehensive pain management solutions. We strive to achieve this by undertaking cutting-edge research and delivering education and training to clinicians caring for people with chronic pain.

Since our inception in 1991, we have focused on patient advocacy and integrating our research and training with clinical services. Through this process, the latest research can inform future care.

The Pain Management Research Institute is part of the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health. It has academic and lab space within the Kolling Institute building, as well as facilities in the Douglas building at Royal North Shore Hospital.

From here, our clinical research is undertaken alongside the nationally and internationally-recognised pain education program. Patients with acute pain, cancer pain and chronic non-cancer pain receive treatment in collaboration with the Michael J Cousins’ Pain Management & Research Centre.

Professor Paul GlareProfessor Paul Glare

Chair in Pain Medicine, Northern Clinical School
Director, Pain Management Research Institute
Head, Discipline of Pain Medicine, Sydney Medical School

Conjoint Associate Professor Paul Wrigley

Postdoctoral Scientist

Clinical Professor Chris Vaughan

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Karin Aubrey

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Yo Otsu

Postdoctoral Scientist

 Conjoint Professor Michael Nicholas

Postdoctoral Scientist

Clinical Associate Professor Charles Brooker

Visiting Medical Officer

Associate Professor Claire Ashton-James

Postdoctoral Scientist and Educator

Dr Bryony Winters

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Sarah Overton

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Manasi Mittinty

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Neda Assareh

Research Fellow

Dr Ali Gholamrezaei

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Eindra Aung

Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Elizabeth Devonshire


Dr Duncan Sanders


Vanessa Mitchell - Research Assistant

Sandra O'Malley - Research Project Manager

Rebecca Power - Technical Assistant

(Mohammad) Nazim Uddin  - Laboratory Assistant

Meegan Lenart - Research Coordinator

Dr Daniel Costa - Statistician and Researcher

Dr Ali Asghari - PhD Researcher

Eddy Sokalai  - PhD Student

Nicholas Atwal - PhD Student

Michael Magee - PhD Student

Mayumi Oguchi - PhD Student

Jenny Shephard - Honours student

Caitlin Frith- Honours student

Muskaan Kalra - Honours student

Caitlin Fenech - Honours student

For over five years, the Pain Management Research Institute has been designated as the lead site for pain research in NSW by the Ministry of Health. We have provided ongoing leadership of the Pain Management Network of the Agency of Clinical Innovation. Our researchers collaborate with other centres within the Kolling Institute and across the University of Sydney, such as the Sydney Musculoskeletal Network, the Brain & Mind Centre and the Cancer Research Network. Our network extends nationally and internationally.

Pain Management Research Institute’s key activities and achievements

  1. Research: We had two lab-based groups (cellular mechanisms of pain and cannabinoids; neurobiology of pain inhibitory pathways in spinal cord) and four clinical research groups (Clinical Trials; Pain Testing and Pain Pathways; Cancer Survivor Pain, with a focus on self-management and opioid deprescribing;
  2. Brain, Behaviour and Society, with a focus on early intervention to prevent the development of acute pain). Our research income was more than $2.5 million. Our research output included 24 peer-reviewed publications. Two new PhD scholarships were donated last year.
  3. Education: The Pain Management Research Institute’s Pain Education Unit runs a degree course annually and there’s been a strong increase in demand in recent years.
  4. Advocacy: Professor Paul Glare replaced Professor Cousins on the board of Painaustralia. Professor Nicholas is co-chair of the NSW ACI Pain Management Network, and is on the Council of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

With additional funding, Pain Management Research Institute researchers plan to undertake the following projects to:

  1. Understand the role of glycine neurotransmission targeting neurons in the brain
  2. Improve co-ordination of care for chronic pain patients frequently attending the Emergency Department
  3. Trial SMS text messaging to support patients tapering off opioids
  4. Evaluate pain self-management in cancer survivors
  5. Develop standardised functional measures for pain clinics worldwide
  6. Demonstrate best practice of pain management in women having Caesareans

Events, News and Seminars

Australian first study to alleviate pain for those with spinal cord injuries

Australian first study to alleviate pain for those with spinal cord injuries

Researchers from the Kolling Institute will partner with international and Australian experts to exa..... Read more

Category: Funding support, Neuroscience and Pain Research

Global focus on musculoskeletal health

Global focus on musculoskeletal health

Kolling researchers are part of an international team calling for musculoskeletal health to become a..... Read more

Category: Musculoskeletal Research

Researchers join celebrations for national award

Researchers join celebrations for national award

Kolling Institute researchers have been recognised with a prestigious award for an initiative to sup..... Read more

Category: Awards, Research Excellence