Programme & Abstracts book PDF



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Pain causes an enormous amount of suffering and disability, with those directly affected estimated at 19% of the adult population in Europe. The resulting medical and social costs in European countries amount to an estimated 500 million € per 1 million of population annually.

Pain may become progressively more severe over time, with intensity often unrelated to the course of the precipitating organic condition. Therefore, chronic pain has recently been recognized as a disease entity in its own right.

A number of somatic, psychosocial and genetic risk factors have been identified which determine facilitate chronicity, e.g. in low back pain, neuropathies, fibromyalgia and headache. Acute pain not successfully treated carries a particularly high risk of persisting and becoming chronic pain.

Basic and clinical research provides some understanding of pain chronicity. The mechanisms involve long term nervous system plasticity that results in the sensitization of the pain system under repeated or prolonged pain conditions. Thus, both basic and clinical research predicts that early preventive measures may have a major potential against pain chronicity.

The European Pain School provides interdisciplinary training to younger scientists with the aim of stimulating pain research and ultimately improving prevention and treatment of chronic pain.


Young scientists at the Ph.D. or postdoctoral levels in all fields of pain science and medicine are encouraged to apply.


  1. Pain and neuronal hyperexcitability
  2. Genotype and predisposition to pain
  3. Targeting pain at the molecular level
  4. From pathomechanisms to treatment and prevention of pain
  5. Pain, stress, hormones, and the immune system
  6. Neuropathic pain and ion channel dysfunction
  7. CNS pain processes, glia, and disinhibition
  8. Networks and molecules seen through neuroimaging
  9. Ethics of pain research


Anna Maria Aloisi, Siena, Italy
Vania Apkarian, Chicago, USA
Allan I. Basbaum, San Francisco, USA
Giancarlo Carli, Siena, Italy
Marshall Devor, Jerusalem, Israel
Gerald F. Gebhart, Pittsburgh, USA
Thomas Herdegen, Kiel, Germany
Troels S. Jensen, Aarhus, Denmark
Eija A. Kalso, Helsinki, Finland
Daniela Pietrobon, Padua, Italy
Michel Pohl, Paris, France
Ryszard Przewlocki, Krakow, Poland
Manfred Zimmermann, Heidelberg, Germany


Anna Maria Aloisi MD, Ph.D.
Pain and Stress Neurophysiology Lab.
Dept of Physiology, University of Siena
Via Aldo Moro, 2
53100 Siena - Italy



Important dates

  • Applications open
    28 December 2009
  • Notification of selections
    29 March 2010:
    The selection procedure is being finalized and applicants will be notified in the next days.



  • Applications
    28 February 2010
  • Attendance confirmation
    27 March 2010
  • Payment
    30 April 2010


School Board

Anna Maria Aloisi
Giancarlo Carli
Marshall Devor
Manfred Zimmermann




Ugo Basile