Sunday, 7 June


Arrival of Scholars and Faculty at the Certosa di Pontignano

Assignment to single or double rooms in the hotel wing of the Certosa. All food during the week will be provided by the restaurant of the Certosa, breakfast, lunch and dinner, including wine from the Certosa’s Chianti wineyards, as well as non-alcoholic drinks, all free of extra charge


A short guided tour through the Certosa, its Chapel, Cloisters and Garden


Opening Ceremony

The European Pain School

Anna Maria Aloisi, School Director, Siena

Greetings from the University of Siena

With passion against pain

Gaby Erkens, Grünenthal Scientific Relations Management

The ARPA Foundation

Franco Mosca, President, Pisa

Pain: a new scientific discipline

Marshall Devor, Jerusalem

The Certosa di Pontignano and its history

Giancarlo Carli, Siena

Monasteries, the medieval forerunners of Universities and Hospitals

Manfred Zimmermann, Heidelberg

Scholars' self-introduction followed by a wine reception and dinner


Schedule of a typical School day


Morning exercise in the large Cloister




Morning Session

  • Faculty Lecture 1
  • Oral Presentations by 2 Scholars
  • Coffee break on the Garden Terrace
  • Oral Presentations by 2 Scholars
  • Faculty Lecture 2
  • Discussions conducted by Faculty and Scholar

Lunch in the small Cloister, free group discussions and garden walks


Afternoon Session

  • Faculty Lecture 3
  • Oral Presentations by 2 Scholars
  • Coffee break on the Garden Terrace
  • Oral Presentations by 2 Scholars
  • Faculty Lecture 4
  • Discussions conducted by Faculty and Scholar

Dinner in the small Cloister


Evening event (optional)


Schedule of Lectures (L), Workshops (W) and Scholars’ presentations (S) Formats of teaching:
L1 – L18 Keynote Lectures, maximum 40 Min + 20 Min for discussion
W1 – W8 Interactive Workshops and Seminars
S1 - S31 Scholar’s presentations 10 Min + 5 Min for discussion

Monday, 8 June


Morning Session

L1 Neuroplasticity – the view of a neurophysiologist

Manfred Zimmermann (Heidelberg, Germany)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Phase-encoded mapping of nociceptive input in the human brain

Flavia Mancini (London, UK)

The role of the primary motor cortex in pain processing

Lee Kisler (Haifa, Israel)

Neuromodulation averts phantom limb pain and reinstates the deprived cortex to the sensorimotor system

Sanne Kikkert (Oxford, UK)

Neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in brain areas involved in pain processing during diabetic neuropathic pain

José Tiago Costa Pereira (Oporto, Portugal)

L2 PNS plasticity: Hyperexcitable neurons as generators of spontaneous and evoked pain

Marshall Devor (Jerusalem, Israel)


Afternoon Session

L3 Experimental animal models of pain

Isabelle Decosterd (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Galanin in the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus activates two independent descending pronociceptive pathways

Diana Amorim (Braga, Portugal)

Developmental pain plasticity in a model of juvenile joint inflammatory pain

Charlie Kwok (London, UK)

EEG frequency-tagging to dissociate the cortical responses to nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimuli

Elisabeth Colon (Brussels, Belgium)

Considerable variability in the efficacy of 8% capsaicin topical patches in the treatment of chronic pruritus in 3 notalgia paresthetica patients – A prospective, consecutive case report series

Hjalte H. Andersen (Aalborg, Denmark)

L4 Central neural plasticity and modulation of pain

Bob LaMotte (New Haven, CT, USA)

after dinner

Evening session

W1 Behavioral Tests & Tools in Pain Research
A hands-on presentation of equipment for experimental pain research

Lead by Federico Oggioni, Ugo Basile Biological Research Apparatus, Comerio, Italy

Tuesday, 9 June


Morning Session

L5 Channelopathy in pain: the role of voltage-gated sodium channels

Isabelle Decosterd (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Scholars’ oral presentations

The molecular basis of analgesia in CIP (congenital insensitivity to pain) SCN9A  loss-of-function mutants

Ayako Matsuyama (London, UK)

Pharmacological modulation of spinal glia in rat models of neuropathic pain

Kiril Surchev (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Discovery of novel Cav2.2 channel inhibitor toxins

Silmara R. Sousa (St. Lucia, QLD, Australia)

Bidirectional amygdaloid control of neuropathic hypersensitivity mediated by descending serotonergic pathways acting on spinal 5-HT3 and 5-HT1A receptors

Boriss Sagalajev (Helsinki, Finland)

L6 Glial and neural plasticity in neuropathic pain: insights from sex-related differences and from analgesic drugs

Flaminia Pavone (Rome, Italy)


Afternoon Session

L7 Brain circuits underlying pain avoidance learning

Tor Wager (Boulder, CO, USA)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Supraspinal pain facilitation is involved in opioid-induced hyperalgesia

Ana R. Costa (Oporto, Portugal)

Comparative network connectivity of tactile, thermal and electrical noxious stimuli using graph theorys

Jamila Andoh (Mannheim, Germany)

Stimulus intensity encoding or integration of predictions and prediction errors? A formal comparison across pain processing brain areas

Stephan Geuter (Hamburg, Germany)

Effective connectivity predicts future placebo analgesic response: a dynamic causal modeling study of pain processing in healthy controls

Landrew Sevel (Gainesville, FL, USA)

L8 Assessing the pain code by intraneural recording in humans

Jordi Serra (Barcelona, Spain - London, UK)


W2 Evening session
(after dinner, for team members only)

Orientation/organizational meeting of the debate teams

Wednesday, 10 June


Morning Session

L9 Plasticity in primary afferent neurons that promotes central neuropathic pain

Edgar (Terry) Walters (Houston, TX, USA)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Restoration of descending pain inhibition by tapentadol

Christian Elling (Aachen, Germany)

Does pain affect the perception of peripersonal space in patients with complex regional pain syndrome?

Lieve Filbrich (Louvain, Belgium)

Chronic pain and heart rate variability in a cross-sectional occupational sample: evidence for impaired vagal control

Julian Koenig (Columbus, OH, USA)

Intrathecal administration of botulinum toxin type A improves urinary bladder function and reduces pain in rats with cystitis

Raquel Oliveira (Oporto, Portugal)

L10 Hormone modulation of pain

Anna Maria Aloisi (Siena, Italy)


Afternoon Session

L11 Pain and consciousness: modulation from the brain

Marshall Devor (Jerusalem, Israel)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Lumbar radicular pain due to lumbar disc herniation: inflammatory proteins in serum

Aurora Moen (Oslo, Norway)

Navigated repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of central post stroke pain

Juhani Ojala (Helsinki, Finland)

Testing motivated cognition in pain using the attentional blink

Hazel Godfrey (Wellington, New Zealand)

L12 Nociceptive neurons and pain perception

Bob LaMotte (New Haven, CT, USA)

W3 EPS2015 Neuropathic Pain Quiz!!

Jordi Serra (Moderator)

Thursday, 11 June


Morning Session

L13 Psychological mechanisms in chronic pain problems

Judith Turner (Seattle, WA, USA)

W4 Duetto on pain-sensation and suffering

“Relation of afferent types to sensory quality”

Bob LaMotte and Jordi Serra

“Pain vs suffering; physical pain vs emotional pain”

Judith Turner and Tor Wager
Marshall Devor (Moderator)

L14 What is the evidence for central plasticity as a mechanism supporting chronic pain?

Tor Wager (Boulder, CO, USA)


Afternoon and Evening: Excursion to Siena old town

15:00-17:00 Guided tour to historical Siena

17:00-19:00 Piazza del Campo, Palazzo del Rettorato: “EXPO 2015: My bread in the world” (international meeting on the use of bread in different cultures)

19:00-20:00 Aperitif in Piazza del Campo

20:00-24:00 Free time for Scholars in Siena / Faculty Dinner

Friday, 12 June


Morning Session

L15 Evolution of defensive responses and tonic immobility in animals in relation to nervous system development and nociception

Giancarlo Carli (Siena, Italy)

Scholars’ oral presentations

The effect of pressure pain sensitivity and patient factors on self-reported pain-disability in patients with chronic neck pain

Zakir Uddin (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

Effectiveness of pulsed radiofrequency with multifunctional epidural electrode in patients with chronic lumbosacral radicular pain with neuropathic features

Simone Vigneri (Occhiobello, Italy)

Mirror-image tactile allodynia after peripheral nerve injury of mice lacking vasoactive intestinal peptide

Alessandro Gallo (Brussels, Belgium)

Differentiating between the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of compounds with the potential for dual action: the utility of the carrageenan-induced paw oedema rat model

David Rider (Aachen, Germany)

L16 An evolutionary perspective on plasticity mechanisms that promote chronic pain

Edgar (Terry) Walters (Houston, TX, USA)


Afternoon Session

L17 Neuro-immune communication at the first pain synapse

Marzia Malcangio (London, UK)

Scholars’ oral presentations

The postnatal emergence of cortical pain networks in the rat primary somatosensory cortex

Pishan Chang (London, UK)

Neuropathic pain: characterization and modulation of macrophage/microglial activation

Ann Ketz (Landstuhl, Germany)

Increased C-fiber response induced by experimental disc herniation is associated with upregulation of fractalkine and its receptor in nucleus pulposus and dorsal root ganglion

Daniel P. Jacobsen (Oslo, Norway)

The development of osteoarthritis pain in a model of Alzheimer’s disease

Yahyah Aman (London, UK)

W5 Experiments in the pain laboratory – sensory dissociation during limb ischemia

Jordi Serra (Barcelona, Spain - London, UK)

Saturday, 14 June


Morning Session

L18 Targeting microglia in chronic pain

Marzia Malcangio (London, UK)

W6 Scholars’ controversial debates on the following topics

Marshall Devor and Jordi Serra (Moderators)

  1. Resolved: ”Centralization of pain is a fiction… what starts in the periphery remains in the periphery”
  2. Resolved: “If we could stop the pain, the associated psychosocial problems would vanish on their own”

W7 Ethical motivations and limitations of pain research and treatment in humans and animals

Manfred Zimmermann (Heidelberg, Germany)


Closing session

Relevance of IASP to early career pain researchers

Judith Turner, IASP President-elect

General discussion of the EPS experience and suggestions on how to modify/improve EPS in the future


Farewell Tour to Val D’Orcia

Visit Montalcino and its vineyards
Experience hot springs used 2000 years ago by the Romans: Bagno Vignoni
Closing (picnic) dinner and music

Sunday, 15 June


Departure from the Certosa di Pontignano



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