Scientific Advisory Board

Hugues Abriel MD, Ph.D
Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Ion Channels and Channelopathies, University of Bern, Switzerland

Hugues Abriel studied life sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ, 1989) and medicine at the University of Lausanne (MD, 1994). He received a PhD degree in Physiology from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland (1995). He has spent two years as a research scientist at Columbia University in New York, USA. Prof. Abriel has been a group leader (2002-2009) at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Lausanne thanks to a professorship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF-Professor). From 2009 until 2016, he was the Director of the Department of Clinical Research of the University of Bern at the Inselspital, and professor of pathophysiology. In 2012, he was elected as a member of the research council of the SNSF, and he is since 2016 vice-president of the division of biology and medicine. He is the Director since 2015 of the SNSF-funded research network NCCR TransCure. His research work focuses on the roles of ion channels in human diseases (channelopathies). Currently, he is mainly exploring the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of cardiac arrhythmias.

Anthony Dickenson Ph.D.
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, UK

He is Professor of Neuropharmacology in the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology at University College, London, United Kingdom. He gained his PhD at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, and has held posts in Paris, California and Sweden.  His research interests are pharmacology of the brain, including the mechanisms of pain and how pain can be controlled in both normal and pathophysiological conditions, and how to translate basic science to the patient.
Prof. Dickenson is an Honorary Member of the British Pain Society, was a member of the Council of the International Association for the Study of Pain for 6 years and is Section Editor for the journal Pain. He has authored more than 340 refereed publications and has an h index of 87, all due to his motivated and brilliant research team; he is a founding and continuing member of the Wellcome Trust funded London Pain Consortium.
Prof. Dickenson has given plenary lectures at the World Congress on Pain, the American Pain Society, the European Pain Congress, the Canadian Pain Society, the Belgium Pain Society, ASEAPs, the Scandinavian Pain Society, the British Pain Society, the Thailand Pain Society, the Irish Pain Society, the Singapore Pain Society, the Australian Pain Society, the New Zealand Pain Society and many other international and national meetings.

Z. David Luo MD, Ph.D.
Departments of Pharmacology, Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care, University of California Irvine, USA

Prof. Luo is a world expert in Ion channel-linked Pain mechanisms with emphasis in Voltage Gated Calcium Channels (VGCC).He joined Irvine in 2003 and is directing multiple research programs focused in mechanisms of pain. He has co-authored more than150 original peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and is recipient of numerous grants and awards from national and international organisations. One of his most important discoveries in pain mechanisms was the identification of CACNA2D1 (α2δ-1) as the molecular driver of injury-unrelated neuropathic pain, as this was shown in a transgenic mice model over-expressing α2δ-1, specifically in neuronal tissues. This discovery has led to the establishment of VGCCs as a therapeutic target in neuropathic pain.

Lars Arendt-Nielsen MD,Ph.D., FRSM, FIAMBE
Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, School of Medicine, Aalborg University, Denmark

Professor Nielsen is a Board member of Aalborg University. His basic research interests focus on 1) translational pain research, 2) experimental methods for the assessment of pain for skin, muscles and viscera in healthy volunteers and pain patients and 3) development of human pain bio-markers for screening of new analgesic compounds in humans (volunteers and patients) and 4) proof-of-concept and target validation studies on new analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds.
He is the founder of a clinical trial centre C4Pain (  devoted to phase Ib, II, and III experimental and clinical pain studies utilizing the most advanced translational pain bio-markers and pain assessment tools. C4Pain offers comprehensive services to Pharmaceutcical industry players with the most advanced facilities in the area of pain related trials.
Prof. Nielsen has published 920 peer reviewed journal papers (sum of times cited 24,897, average citations per item 27.06, H-index 73, Web of Science) in the area of pain assessment, musculoskeletal pain, motor control and profiling of analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds. He has edited six books and has been guest editor for two international journals. Editorial board member of 5 international journals (Eur J Pain, Pain, J.Pain, Exp Brain Res, Oral Science International) and regular reviewer for 19 international journals.
He is also recipient of 19 national and international honours and awards.

Carl Y. Saab M.S.,Ph.D.
Departments of Neurosciences & Neurosurgery, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA

Dr Saab is a neuroscientist pursuing translational research in pain studying the basic neurobiology of pain, and plasticity in the brain caused by chronic pain. His research has potential diagnostic and therapeutic implications, seeking to validate empirical, correlate measures of pain which could be used to screen analgesic drugs. From 2008-2010, his lab demonstrated a novel phenomenon referred to as “remote neuroimmune signaling”, whereby peripheral nerve injury evokes a glial response in the brain. Also, his lab showed that certain changes in neuronal activity in the brain, due to peripheral nerve injury, are independent of input from the injured nerve, suggesting that pain-related changes become “inherent” to the brain. His most recent work showed that pain disrupts network dynamics in the thalamocortical network.
His team includes leading experts in sensory physiology, computational neuroscientists, psychiatrists and engineers. His research is financially supported by Brown Institute for Brain Science and Norman Prince Neuroscience Institute (NPNI) at RI Hospital. Dr. Saab serves on the Editorial Board of Neurology & Neurophysiology, Surgery Current Research, and ISRN Neuroscience.

Gerald W. Zamponi, FRSC, FCAHS
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada

Professor Zamponi is Senior Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Medicine, and department Head in Physiology & Biophysics/Physiology & Pharmacology of the University of Calgary.
Prof. Zamponi is an internationally recognized expert on the biophysics, molecular biology, modulation, and pharmacology of ion channels and their role in nervous system function. His research focuses on exploring how these channels contribute to neurological disorders such as chronic pain.  His goal is to develop strategies to regulate ion channel function for therapeutic intervention.
Dr. Zamponi’s scientific work has garnered dozens of national and international awards. He has also authored more than 240 publications in top tier scientific journals and has been invited to present at over 200 scientific conferences around the world. In addition, his research on ion channel therapeutics has resulted in numerous patents. He is also the cofounder of NeuroMed Pharmaceuticals (now Epirus).
In addition to having been an AI-HS Scientist, he is a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Neurobiology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and also previously served as Research Director at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.