University of Michigan, USA
Daniel Clauw, M.D is a Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He attended undergrad and medical school at Michigan, and then did his internal medicine residency and rheumatology fellowships at Georgetown University, where he eventually held roles including Chief of Rheumatology and Vice Chair of Medicine. While at Georgetown he assembled an interdisciplinary team who began to study the central nervous system contributions to a number of chronic pain disorders, including fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, low back pain, and Gulf War Illnesses. This group of investigators, the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center (CPFRC), moved to the University of Michigan in 2002. In addition to bringing this group to the University of Michigan, Dr. Clauw was also asked to lead the meager existing clinical research infrastructure serving UM at that time. With strong support from UM leadership he helped grow clinical and translational research infrastructure dramatically, becoming the first Assistant and then Associate Dean for Clinical Research, and the first PI of the University of Michigan Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (UM CTSA) and founding director of the unit at Michigan that supports translational research – the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR). Although he stepped down from these institutional leadership roles in 2009, he remains very active in institutional and departmental translational research training programs, and is a very active and recognized mentor of clinical and translational researchers. Many of these mentees, and many other collaborators from Michigan and beyond, have continued to perform both the mechanistic studies and clinical trials of the Center, which are aimed at helping better understand how to best diagnose and treat chronic pain. The group has used nearly identical methods ranging from patient reported outcomes to functional and chemical neuroimaging, to identify the critical phenotypic features of individuals whose central nervous system is amplifying or magnifying their pain, and as such has been critical in helping elucidate the importance of the central nervous system in all chronic pain conditions. The group is increasingly showing the importance of some of these factors when considering responsiveness of chronic pain patients to commonly used therapies such as surgery and opioids.