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Dr. Ronald Dubner Receives Grant to Study Chronic Pain

Written by Adam Zewe

Ronald Dubner, DDS, PhD, recently received a $3.38 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund a five-year study of chronic orofacial pain. The grant allows Dr. Dubner to continue groundbreaking pain research.

Dr. Dubner, professor in the Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, has studied pain for four decades. His latest project examines the nervous system and how it changes when pain becomes chronic. "We have a lot of new technology to study pain that we didn't have years ago. It enables us to take what we learn in the laboratory to the bedside," Dr. Dubner remarks.

Collaboration is an essential part of Dr. Dubner's work. He is credited with establishing the first interdisciplinary pain research team in the early 1970s. Dr. Dubner continues to work closely with fellow faculty, integrating research to achieve greater results. "Studying the nervous system requires many different approaches because the system is so complex," he states.

Fifteen years after joining the dental school, Dr. Dubner remains excited about pain research. New advances like brain imaging and molecular techniques provide more precise tools. Dr. Dubner strives to be a leader in the field by utilizing the latest technology. He finds his research rewarding because he can see the results in the clinic. "Research is about discovering the unknown. Ultimately, it's about taking this knowledge and helping people have a better quality of life," he says.

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