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University of Siena




The European Pain School (EPS), founded at the University of Siena (Italy) in 2003, is the first and still the premier school intended for students working on basic science and clinical topics related to acute and chronic pain. EPS has an interdisciplinary perspective and a distinct research orientation. Beginning with the EPS 2012 cycle EPS was adopted as an educational project of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Young scientists at the Ph.D. or postdoctoral levels (or equivalent) in all fields of pain science and pain medicine are encouraged to apply.


EPS 2015 will focus on neural plasticity as a mechanism in chronic pain. Historically, nervous system function was viewed as shaped by Darwinian evolution, coded in the genome and fine-tuned by interactions with the outside world during “critical periods” of postnatal development. The characterization of the mature brain as being fixed and rigid, however, has been challenged in recent decades by evidence of continuing plasticity throughout life. In the pain arena, such neuroplasticity has been found at multiple levels from the peripheral nerves to the cerebral cortex. Thus, in the periphery, responsiveness of nociceptors may be enhanced under the influence of immune system mediators. In the CNS, mechanisms such as long term potentiation (LTP) and failure of endogenous inhibitory control systems may amplify the forward transmission of pain signals. Neuroimaging studies in patients with persistent pain reveal functional, neurochemical and even structural changes from the normal. Some of these may play a causative role in pain chronicity. Psychological processes and social interactions also contribute to the aggravation and perpetuation of pain. The entire array of neuroplastic processes ultimately shape pain experience and pain behavior, and understanding them may open avenues for prevention and treatment.



Anna Maria Aloisi, Siena, Italy
Giancarlo Carli, Siena, Italy
​Isabelle Decosterd, Lausanne, Switzerland​
Marshall Devor, Jerusalem, Israel
Robert LaMotte, New Haven, CT, USA
Marzia Malcangio, London, UK
Flaminia Pavone, Rome, Italy
Jordi Serra, Barcelona, Spain
Judith Turner, Seattle, WA, USA
Tor Wager, Boulder, CO, USA
Edgar (Terry) Walters, Houston, TX, USA
Manfred Zimmermann, Heidelberg, Germany



Local Organisation

Prof. Anna Maria Aloisi
Management of the School
tel +39 0577 234103
fax +39 0577 234037

Web support services

Azuleon .:meetings:.




9 December 2014


22 February 2015

Warning New deadline Warning

important dates

Notification of selection

23 March 2015


Deadline for attendance confirmation

1 April 2015


Deadline for payment

30 April 2015

School Board

Anna Maria Aloisi
Giancarlo Carli
Marshall Devor
Jordi Serra
Manfred Zimmermann




Ugo Basile


Fondazione Arpa