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Anesthesiology Pain & Opioids Research

The U-M Medical School Department of Anesthesiology is driving efforts to understand pain and how we can improve care and outcomes for patients with acute and chronic pain. Our work looks at predictors and mechanisms driving pain — from genetics to patient-reported outcomes to brain imaging — and tests interventions for pain prevention and management.

Our investigators also lead initiatives across the University of Michigan to leverage our collective strength to address the opioid epidemic. We partner with colleagues across campus to conduct work that extends beyond the traditional laboratory — working with hospitals, community outreach groups, state agencies, and national organizations to understand opioid misuse and overdose and to explore possible prevention strategies and treatments.  

Our research — which receives funding from the NIH and other federal sources as well as a range of foundation, industry, and state sources — is supported by investigators, statisticians, study coordinators, research assistants, community partners and research volunteers who work together to transform care. Dedicated to our guiding principles to conduct high quality clinical studies, we never lose sight of the importance of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in research.

Key Initiatives

Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center

The comprehensive, multidisciplinary Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center (CPFRC) is home to internationally-renowned clinicians and investigators who conduct research on the mechanisms and most effective treatments of conditions that have chronic pain and fatigue as core symptoms. CPFRC investigators examine the role that the nervous system, brain, and mind play in chronic pain and fatigue experience and work to improve the identification and diagnosis of chronic pain and fatigue and develop interventions and treatments for the symptomatic components of these illnesses.

Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN)

The effects of chronic opioid use have touched millions of lives in countless communities. Launched in 2016, the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN) is working to change the trajectory of the opioid epidemic, finding transformative solutions through research, engagement, and evidence-based actions. OPEN collaborates with networks of surgeons and other acute care clinicians across the state of Michigan to characterize and optimize opioid and pain treatments. OPEN investigators examine electronic health record data, patient-reported and related clinical outcomes, and insurance, medical, and pharmacy claims to advance the field of pain treatment. 

Michigan Perioperative Research Team

Acute pain is one of the most common issues confronting patients recovering at home after surgery. The Michigan Perioperative Research team (MPR) works to better understand the transition from acute to chronic pain, perioperative health outcomes, and post-operative pain management. The MPR team supports prospective cohort studies such as the Michigan Genomics Initiative and randomized clinical trials, such as the CARES Study. This work will transform care by generating rigorous evidence, accelerating therapy development and guiding pain prevention strategies.

Back and Pain Center Clinical Research Group 

Our mission is to improve the quality of life of people with chronic pain. We conduct clinical trials and other research that support personalized pain management with the goal of helping people lead more rewarding lives with less pain.

Bohnert Lab 

The Bohnert Lab is a group of individuals working together to improve the lives of individuals with chronic pain, opioids and other substance use, mental health, and related concerns through direct interventions and collaborations with individuals, care providers, and policymakers. 

Through our work and collaborations, we have impacted policy change at the national level with the CDC and the VA, and impacted the quality of care throughout the state of Michigan for medications for opioid use disorder through MOC. 

Amy Bohnert Amy SB Bohnert, PhD, MHS
Professor of Anesthesiology
Professor of Psychiatry
Executive Director, Pain and Opioid Research
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Daniel J Clauw MD Daniel J Clauw, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Psychiatry and Executive Director, Pain and Opioid Research, Translational Research, Department of Anesthesiology
Mark Christopher Bicket, MD Mark C Bicket, MD, PhD, FASA
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Program Director, Anesthesiology
Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy
Afton Hassett Afton L Hassett, PsyD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Program Director, Anesthesiology