The goals of the IMI Europain project are to increase the understanding of chronic pain mechanisms in order to improve the treatment of chronic pain patients. Our research strategy is shown in the figure below. We are undertaking a series of six interlinked and mutually supportive programs of experimental research, underpinned and supported by a coordinated training and bioinformatics facility. These programs form a series of workpackages, as described briefly below. More information on activities within each workpackage are avaialbe from the links above. Notably, each workpackage is itself a collaboration of laboratories of our network, bringing together multiple techniques and much expertise to each area. In addition, there are considerable synergies between the programs with the activities in one being consistent with, informing and directing activities in others. For example, we are developing and studying the same models of persistent pain in animals and humans (programs 2 and 3) and the mechanisms we identify in animal models are being tested also in humans.
The different workpackages are:
Workpackage 1. Preclinical studies of pain mechanisms and the identification of novel pain mediators. (Leaders: David Bennett, King’s College London, and Laura Corradini Bohringer IngleheimI)
Workpackage 2. Improving animal models of pain (Leaders: Ian Machin, consultant, and Andrew Rice, Imperial College London)
Workpackage 3. Developing and studying experimental pain models in humans (Leaders: Rolf-Detlef Treede, Mannheim, and Jens Rengelshausen, Grunenthal)
Workpackage 4. Quantitative assessment of pain in patients (Leaders: Ralf Baron, Kiel, Troels Jensen, Aarhus, Märta Segerdahl, Grunenthal, and Ali Zahid, Pfizer)
Workpackage 5. Risk factors for pain chronification (Leaders: Henrik Kehlet, Copenhagen, Troels Jensen, Aarhus)
Workpackage 6. Data mining and databases (Leaders: Christoph Maier, Bochum, Christine Orengo, University College London)