Why should you listen to me? Why do I think I have all the answers? I base my confidence on seven (looooong) years of graduate training at McGill University, which is renowned for the pain research program founded by the pain pioneer Ron Melzack. It is a rich multidisciplinary environment where basic scientists attend clinical rounds, where clinicians combine adventurous creativity with pain-mechanism based approaches, and where I developed mouse models of chronic pain based on my patient observations in the clinic. And as a clinical psychology trainee in a multidisciplinary chronic pain clinic, I have been exposed to a wide spectrum of pain populations and bizarre symptom presentations that no longer phase me.
Painless complex regional pain syndrome, anyone? I’ve seen it.
I have embraced many opportunities to listen to people smarter than myself discuss pain mechanisms: graduate courses on acute and chronic pain physiology, lectures by major figures in pain research, drunken conversations at rowdy IASP parties. And as a postdoc, I trained with a brilliant pain neuroimager whose science is 5+ years ahead of the field. So I know some things about pain.
Dr. Farmer is a Research Assistant Professor in the Physiology Department of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
Melissa Farmer, a clinician-scientist with roots in sexology, pain research, and neuroscience who is based in Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the Department of Physiology, as a Research Assistant Professor. Her doctorate in Clinical Psychology was obtained from McGill University, where she pursued human and animal research related to chronic pain. She specialises in translational research approaches, including cross-species analysis of cognition, emotion, and pain perception across multiple levels of analysis (cellular, systems, behaviour, animal model development, psychophysiology, clinical psychological assessment/treatment, multimodal neuroimaging).
Dr. Farmer’s current interests include:
- Deciphering mechanisms underlying complex pelvic pain;
- Fear memory formation/reconsolidation of visceral pain; and
- Development of pain neuroscience education for non-scientists.
Meet Melissa in the video below: