For Immediate Release
Monday, October 31, 2011
NCCAM Press Office

News Advisory

Stanford researcher to speak at NIH on the role of neuroimaging in understanding pain

NCCAM presents Opening Windows to the Brain: Lessons Learned in the Neuroimaging of Pain


Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Pain Management Division and associate professor of anesthesia and pain management at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif., will be the featured speaker for the third annual Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Dr. Mackey’s lecture is entitled Opening Windows to the Brain: Lessons Learned in the Neuroimaging of Pain.


Millions of Americans suffer from pain that is chronic, severe, and not easily managed. People who suffer from chronic pain may take various prescription and non-prescription medications; these do not always provide adequate relief and may have unwanted side effects. As a result, people sometimes turn to non-pharmacological strategies for pain management. Dr. Mackey will discuss the role of neuroimaging and how it provides a picture for the principal mechanisms involved in pain processing, perception, and plasticity. He will also discuss the role of neural (brain) reward systems in regulating pain, and the potential future for non-pharmacological strategies to reduce the experience of pain.


Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. EST


National Institutes of Health, Building 10, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, Md. Lecture: Lipsett Amphitheater. It will also be videocast at when the event is live.

More Information:

Details are available on NCCAM’s website at Sign language interpretation will be provided; for other reasonable accommodation call Prachi Patel at 301-594-1030.

Who Should Attend:

The event is free and open to the public.


Presented by NCCAM and supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health with a generous gift from Bernard and Barbro Osher.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s mission is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCAM’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health was established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the National Institutes of Health—improving health through scientific discovery. The Foundation identifies and develops opportunities for innovative public-private partnerships involving industry, academia, and the philanthropic community. A nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation, the Foundation raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. The Foundation’s web site is

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health ®