Sunday, 5 June


Arrival of Scholars and Faculty at the Certosa di Pontignano

Assignment to double rooms (Scholars) 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 vineyards, as well as non-alcoholic drinks


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


Opening Ceremony (Bracci room)

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 Managemen, Achen

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


Guided 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

Lunch in the obediences 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

Dinner in the obediences Cloister


Evening event (on some days, optional)


On Saturday, 11 June, the Morning Session will be followed by:


Concluding Session of Faculty and Scholars


Evaluation of the School with the EPS questionnaire.
Discussion and Suggestions on future cycles of the European Pain School.

Monday, 6 June


Morning Session

L1 Neuroplasticity – a neurophysiological introduction

Manfred Zimmermann (Heidelberg, Germany)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Participation of glial cells in chronic musculoskeletal pain

Milena Freitas (London, UK)

Nucleus accumbens dopaminergic neurotransmission switches its modulatory action in chronification of inflammatory hyperalgesia

Elayne Dias (Campinas, Brazil)


Coffee break


Offset analgesia: a mechanism of inhibitory modulation of pain?

Davide Ligato (Aalborg, Denmark)

Acute and chronic nociceptive phases observed in a rat hind paw ischaemia/reperfusion model depend on different mechanisms

Samira Dal Toé De Prá (Criciúma, Brazil)

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

Marshall Devor (Jerusalem, Israel)


Afternoon Session

L3 Methodologies in clinical assessment of pain phenotypes: biopsychosocial factors

Bill Maixner (Durham, NC, USA)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Purinergic P2Y2 receptors on satellite glial cells as new potential targets for the pharmacological control of trigeminal pain

Giulia Magni (Milan, Italy)

Assessing central mechanisms for the formation of chronic tension-type headache based on nonlinear multidimensional analysis (deterministic chaos) EEG

Kostiantyn Stepanchenko (Kharkiv, Ukraine)


Coffee break


Pronociceptive mechanisms of miR-34c-5p in cancer mediated pain

Jagadeesh Gandla (Heidelberg, Germany)

Relationship between patient health education and pain

Shy Hong Chen (Hsin Chu, Taiwan)

L4 Delivering a cultural transformation in pain prevention, care, education and research

Sean Mackey (Palo Alto, CA, 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, 7 June


Morning Session

L5 Catastrophizing: cognitions and emotions that amplify pain

Beth Darnall (Palo Alto, CA, USA)

Scholars’ oral presentations

The effect of acute stress on pain modulation among triathletes

Nirit Geva (Modiin, Israel)

Psychological service usage predicts decline in opioid consumption and improvements in pain interference and depressive symptoms in complex surgery patients referred to the Transitional Pain Service

Abid Azam (Mississauga, ON, Canada)


Coffee break


Targeting pain catastrophizing in postsurgical pain management

Kun Liu (Aachen, Germany)

Does vitamin D supplementation alleviate chronic nonspecific musculoskeletal pain? a systematic review and meta-analysis

Manasi Gaikwad (Adelaide, SA, Australia)

L6 Unraveling the mysteries of complex persistent pain conditions

Bill Maixner (Durham, NC, USA)


Afternoon Session

L7 Assessing the pain code by intraneural recording in humans

Jordi Serra (Barcelona, Spain - London, UK)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Biased signaling at the nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor and functional implications

Ruth Jostock (Aachen, Germany)

Antinociceptive effect of 1400W, an inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase, following hind paw incision in rats

Mayank Gautam (New Delhi, India)


Coffee break


Administration of P2X4 receptor antagonist (CORM-2) inhibits neuropathic pain and improves opioid effectiveness in rats

Agnieszka Jurga (Krakow, Poland)

Restoration of laser evoked potentials (LEP) in patients receiving dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation

Marcos de Barros Filho (Tuebingen, Germany)

L8 The strain in pain lies mainly in the brain: lessons learned from the neuroimaging of pain

Sean Mackey (Palo Alto, CA, USA)

after dinner

Evening session, for team members only

W2 Orientation/organizational meeting of the debate teams

Wednesday, 8 June


Morning Session

L9 The challenge of animal models of visceral pain

Maria Adele Giamberardino (Chieti, Italy)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Effects of descending pain modulation on painful stimuli and neuroplastic changes

Morten Høgh (Aalborg, Denmark)

Does pain cause sensory re-organization or does pain originate within it? Clinical and experimental approaches

Waclaw Adamczyk (Katowice, Poland)


Coffee break


Neuronal and astrocytic metabotropic receptors type 5 in the infralimbic cortex promote descending facilitation in monoarthritic rats, an effect relayed by the dorsal reticular nucleus

Ana David-Pereira (Braga, Portugal)

The role of CB1 receptors located in the periaqueductal gray matter in antinociception induced by chemical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus in the tail-flick test

Somayeh Ezzatpanah (Tehran, Iran)

L10 Redox signaling in chronic pain

Irmgard Tegeder (Frankfurt, Germany)


Afternoon Session

L11 Neurobiological mechanisms of placebo analgesic effects

Luana Colloca (Baltimore, MD, USA)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Neuropathic pain: peripheral mechanisms

Nina Buch (Aarhus, Denmark)

Targeting NGF system to fight neuropathic pain: behavioral and immunohistochemical evidence in mice

Elena Fiori (Rome, Italy)

Light-induced analgesia in freely moving transgenic mice

Ihab Daou (Montreal, QC, Canada)


Coffee break


L12 Sex differences in pain from both sides of the syringe

Jeff Mogil (Montreal, QC, Canada)


W3 EPS2016 Neuropathic Pain Quiz!!

Jordi Serra (Moderator)

Thursday, 9 June


Morning Session

L13 The interplay of chronic pain and cognition/learning in mice

Irmgard Tegeder (Frankfurt, Germany)

W4 Duetto on pain-sensation and suffering

“Politics of sex differences”

Jeff Mogil and Luana Colloca

“Hormones or psyche: what’s more important for pain in women?”

Beth Darnall and Anna Maria Aloisi
Marshall Devor (Moderator)

L14 Women in pain: migraine, fibromyalgia and their comorbidity

Maria Adele Giamberardino (Chieti, Italy)

W5 The relevance of IASP for pain researchers

Jeff Mogil, IASP Councillor


Afternoon and Evening: Excursion to Siena old town

15:00-18:00 Guided tour to historical Siena, visit of the Cathedral and City Hall and to a ‘Contrada’ Museum

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

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

Friday, 10 June


Morning Session

L15 Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition mainly affecting women

Giancarlo Carli (Siena, Italy)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Studies of neuromolecular factors in bone microenvironment that contribute to breast cancer-induced bone pain

Tanya Miladinovic (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

Identification of a novel inhibitor of system xc- and cancer-induced bone pain

Jennifer Fazzari (Hamilton, ON, Canada)


Coffee break


Inhibition of breast cancer-cell glutamate release with sulfasalazine limits cancer-induced bone pain

Robert Ungard (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

Src tyrosine kinase inhibition as a novel target for alleviating cancer-induced bone pain

Camilla Appel (Copenhagen, Denmark)

L16 Phenotypes of pain placebo responders: Clinical and translational aspects

Luana Colloca (Baltimore, MD, USA)


Afternoon Session

L17 Hormonal modulation of pain

Anna Maria Aloisi (Siena, Italy)

Scholars’ oral presentations

Responses of spinal dorsal horn neurons to laser-induced heat stimulation

Paulina Nuñez Badinez (Mannheim, Germany)

Treatments to specifically prevent hyperalgesia induced by reactive oxygen species and their downstream products

Milad Mohammadi (Wuerzburg, Germany)


Coffee break


Characterization of dorsal root ganglion neurons cultured on silicon micropillar substrates for high-resolution electrophysiological recordings

Tihana Repić (Split, Croatia)

CXCL1 and CXCL2 chemokines affects neurite outgrowth in dorsal root ganglion neurons

Antonia-teona Deftu (Bucharest, Romania)

L18 Pain and consciousness: modulation from the brain

Marshall Devor (Jerusalem, Israel)


W6 Experiments in the pain laboratory – sensory dissociation during limb ischemia

Jordi Serra (Barcelona, Spain - London, UK)

Saturday, 11 June


Morning Session

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

Manfred Zimmermann (Heidelberg, Germany)

30 min presentation followed by a panel discussion of specific ethical issues, with Manfred Zimmerman, Jordi Serra, Marshall Devor and Luana Colloca

W8 Scholars’ controversial debates on the following topics

Marshall Devor and Jordi Serra (Moderators)

  1. Resolved: "Unlike other sensory modalities, for pain there is no primary sensory cortex (P1)"
  2. Resolved: "If we could stop the pain, the associated psychosocial problems would vanish on their own"

W9 Evaluation of EPS 2016 by Scholars and Faculty, and parting words

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

Parting words from Anna Maria Aloisi and Manfred Zimmermann


Farewell Tour to Val D’Orcia

Farewell tour to Val D’Orcia, Montalcino, its vineyards, its hot springs BagnoVignoni and closing (picnic) dinner and music

Sunday, 12 June


Departure from the Certosa di Pontignano



14 December 2015


16 February 2016

Warning New deadline Warning

important dates

Notification of selection

20 March 2016


Deadline for attendance confirmation

1 April 2016


Deadline for payment

28 April 2016

School Board

Anna Maria Aloisi
Giancarlo Carli
Marshall Devor
Jordi Serra
Manfred Zimmermann