FPRS - Steering Committee

The FPRS Steering Committee is composed of the following: 

  • Co-chairs: One federal and one non-federal  IPRCC scientific expert
  • Broad and balanced range of experts from across the community, who are broad thinkers and who will not promote their own interests
  • Primarily external members (non-IPRCC, non-federal)
  • Inclusion of patient advocates, an ethics expert, academic pain researchers to cover basic, translational, clinical, population, dissemination, and implementation scientific expertise, and  non-pain scientists

Allan Basbaum, PhD (Co-Chair)

Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco

Professor and Chair

Dr. Basbaum's research takes a combined molecular, neuroanatomical, pharmacological and cell transport approach to understand the peripheral and central nervous system mechanisms through which tissue or nerve injury results in chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain, respectively, and to develop novel approaches to their management.

Linda Porter, PhD (Co-Chair)

 National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Health Science Policy Advisor for Pain

Dr. Linda Porter joined the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in 2003 as a Program Director in Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience. Dr. Porter received a B.Sc. in Physical Therapy from McGill University. Her clinical practice focused on developmental disabilities. She later earned a Ph.D. in neuroanatomy from Boston University School of Medicine and then trained as a neurophysiologist at the Rockefeller University. She was on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences for 15 years, where she directed an NIH funded research program aimed at elucidating mechanisms of sensory-motor integration. As a Program Director at NINDS, Dr. Porter managed the institute’s neuropathic pain research portfolio. She also served as a liaison to the pain research community, and voluntary and professional groups whose interests are related to chronic pain disorders. She served as the NINDS representative to the NIH Pain Consortium, whose mission is to develop a comprehensive trans-NIH pain research agenda, to identify and facilitate opportunities in pain research, and to develop partnerships to promote the nationwide research agenda. In 2012, Dr. Porter became the Health Science Policy Advisor for Pain. In this capacity, her primary responsibilities are to coordinate and facilitate activities and programs of the NIH Pain Consortium and to support the activities of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee. Dr. Porter co-chairs the Oversight Panel with Dr. Sean Mackey.

Edward Covington, MD

Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, Cleveland Clinic


Edward Covington, MD is the director of the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinic. He developed and directs the Clinic's Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program and is an expert on the phsyological aspects of pain.

Howard Fields, MD, PhD

University of California San Francisco

Howard Fields, MD, PhD utilizes in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, behavioral pharmacology and human functional imaging to study mesolimbic circuits involved in goal directed behaviors in his laboratory. His particular focus is on how opioid regulation of synaptic function modulates reward seeking and response to punishment.

Kathleen Foley, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Attending Neurologist, Pain & Palliative Care Service

Dr. Foley is a neurologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she focuses on the assessment and treatment of pain in cancer patients, as well as on developing policies for pain and palliative care worldwide.

Robert Gereau, PhD

Washington University

Professor of Anatomy and of Neurobioloy

Dr. Gereau is a professor of anatomy and of neurobiology and is the director of the Washington University Pain Center. His lab is interested in determining the cellular and molecular changes that underlie the development of chronic pain conditions.

Keela Herr, PhD, RN, FAAN AGSF

College of Nursing, University of Iowa

Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty

Keela A. Herr, PhD, RN, AGSF, FAAN is Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Herr has been engaged in a program of research, scholarly, and professional activities focused on the problem of pain in older adults, with emphases in assessment strategies, improving practices through translation research and end of life care.

Alan Leshner, PhD

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Chief Executive Officer Emeritus

Dr. Leshner is the Chief Executive Officer emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to his time at AAAS, Dr. Leshner held many distinguished positions, including Director of NIDA, Deputy Director and Acting Director of NIMG and a variety of senior positions at the National Science Foundation.

Penny Mohr, MA

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Senior Program Officer for Improving Healthcare Systems

Penny Mohr, MA, is a Senior Program Officer for Improving Healthcare Systems at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In this role, she provides intellectual and organizational leadership in the design and management of the IHS funding portfolio.

Richard Payne, MD, MPH

Duke Divinity School, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center

Professor of Medicine and Divinity

Richard Payne, MD is the Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity at Duke Divinity School, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.  He is an internationally known expert in the areas of pain relief, care for those near death, oncology and neurology.

Eric Schoomaker, MD, PhD

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Director, LEAD Program

Eric Schoomaker, MD, PhD, Lieutenant General, U.S.Army (RET) serves as the Director of the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences (USU) LEAD program. After four years as the U.S. Army’s top medical officer, Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker, M.D., Ph.D. retired in 2012 from his role as the 42nd U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. This followed 32 years of active service in uniform and 41 years as a commissioned Army officer. Doctor Schoomaker is exploring the central importance of leadership education and training for health professionals in both individual career development for different health professions—uniformed and civilian—and in an interprofessional, team-based setting.

Ozzie Steward, PhD

University of California Irvine

Dr. Steward’s research program explores how neurons establish, maintain, and modify their synaptic connections. One component of my research evaluates cellular and molecular processes that contribute to repair after CNS (especially spinal cord) injury.

Christin Veasley, BSc *‡

Chronic Pain Research Alliance


Christin L. Veasley is co-founder of the Chronic Pain Research Alliance and former executive director of the National Vulvodynia Association. She has served as an advocate for women with vulvodynia and other chronic pain disorders since her teens, and considers it a privilege to serve, and provide a voice for, this longtime neglected population. After surviving a nearly fatal car accident at 15, ensuing chronic pain led Christin into the study of medical sciences. She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin, and worked in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine conducting basic and clinical research on the neurophysiological mechanisms of pelvic pain before coming to the National Vulvodynia Association in 2000 and co-founding the Chronic Pain Research Alliance in 2009. For the past two decades, she’s advocated in various capacities to promote, expand and improve scientific research on vulvodynia and other chronic pain disorders that frequently affect women and girls. Additionally, through the development of patient education modules and continuing medical education programs for the medical-scientific community, Christin’s work has focused on translating the findings of high caliber scientific research into improved educational and clinical tools for the patient and medical communities. To facilitate awareness and understanding of chronic pain’s impact on the lives of those afflicted, she speaks openly about her experiences. Christin was honored to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions at the Committee’s first chronic pain hearing in 2012, and has been interviewed on the Dr. Oz Show, 20/20 and in Good Housekeeping Magazine.

Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Dr. Woolf’s research is devoted to investigating how the functional, chemical and structural plasticity of neurons is involved in both the normal adaptive functions of the nervous system, and in maladaptive changes that contribute to neurological diseases. Most of the work is concentrated on pain, and I have devoted considerable effort to the identification and validation of novel targets for the development of new analgesics.

Lonnie Zeltzer, MD

David Geffen School of Medicine, University California Los Angeles

Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Dr. Zeltzer is a Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the Pediatric Pain Program at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, and Past-Medical Director of Trinity KidsCare pediatric hospice. Her pain program integrates complementary and traditional therapies for treatment of chronic and cancer pain in children, and she studies the development of chronic pain, mind-body-pain connections, and the impact of complementary therapies on chronic pain.

* Members of the IPRCC
† Members of the NPS Oversight Panel
‡ Served on the IOM Conference on Pain


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