Visiting Scholars' Program


The Visiting Scholars’ Program is a free monthly event providing the perfect opportunity to hear from national and international experts in the field of pain. See who we have been previously privileged to have speak as part of this program here.

These events are held in the Kolling Building at Royal North Shore Hospital in St Leonards, Sydney.

Cost

This is a free event open to anyone with an interest in learning about pain.

2019 Calendar

January

February

March

April

May

June

 

July

August

September

October

November

December


MARCH

Topic

Teach the T cells: Learned Immunosuppressive Placebo Responses

Presenter Professor Manfred Schedlowski
Date Wednesday 27th March 2019
Time 4.30-5.30pm
Venue Auditorium, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Prof. Manfred Schedlowski.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Professor Manfred Schedlowski is Professor and Director of the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Immunobiology at the Medical Faculty, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany since 1997, interrupted by a research stay as Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Immunobiology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland (2004-2007). He obtained his degree in Psychology and his PhD at the Department of Medical Psychology, Hannover Medical School, Germany. Manfred’s current primary focus of research is the neurobiology of placebo and nocebo responses, in particular the mechanisms and clinical relevance of behavioral or Pavlovian conditioning of immune and neuroendocrine functions.

ABOUT THE PRESENTATION

Akin to other physiological responses, immune functions can be modified in humans through associative conditioning procedures as part of learned placebo responses. The potential clinical applicability of learned immunosuppressive responses has been convincingly demonstrated in rodents, where conditioned immune responses significantly reduced the mortality in animals with inflammatory autoimmune disease, significantly reduced allergic responses or prolonged the survival time of transplanted vascularized organs. In an established taste-immune learning paradigm in rodents and humans, the calcineurin-inhibitor and immunosuppressant cyclosporine A (CsA) as an unconditioned stimulus (US) is paired with a gustatory stimulus as a conditioned stimulus (CS) during acquisition. Subjects are re-exposed to the CS during evocation, inducing immunosuppressive responses similar to the drug effects. However, it is unclear so far, whether learned immune responses can be produced in patient populations already on immunosuppressive regimen. In a recent study, we demonstrated in renal transplant patients who were already on immunosuppressive treatment, that learned immunosuppressive placebo responses increased efficacy of immunosuppressive medication reflected by significant reduction of T cell proliferative capacity. These data demonstrate, that behavioral conditioning of drug responses may be a promising tool that could be used as a placebo-based dose reduction strategy in ongoing immunopharmacological regimen the aim being to limit unwanted drug side effects and to improve treatment efficacy.


APRIL


Topic

Interpreting and Implementing the ÖMPSQ-SF in Acute Pain

Presenter Professor Michael Nicholas
Date Tuesday 23rd April 2019
Time 6.00-7.00pm AEST
Online Webinar

This will be an online webinar using Zoom. To join the webinar, click this link: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/260562863

Important Note: Please make sure that your browser is set up to use Zoom before the webinar starts. You can do this by:

  • Clicking on the webinar room link now: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/260562863
  • Then download and run the Zoom launcher file as prompted
  • When it has installed, it will ask you for your email address and name and then you can enter the room.
  • You will see a message with the webinar title and date and time it will open.
  • Then you are all set-up!
Prof Michael Nicholas.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Professor Michael Nicholas directs Pain Education at the Pain Management Research Institute, which is part of the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, and is based at the Royal North Shore Hospital. Michael maintains an active clinical role at the hospital where he also directs several pain management programs. He has an international reputation in this field with over 190 publications in scientific journals and books on psychological aspects of pain and pain management. His current research interests include ways of enhancing the self-management of persisting pain, and early psychosocial interventions to prevent disabling chronic pain in injured workers.

ABOUT THE PRESENTATION

At our very successful and well-attended Masterclass in Psychologically Informed Practice in February it was apparent that a stand-alone session for clinicians dealing with acute pain on how to interpret and implement basic psychosocial screening from day 1 would be helpful to a broader audience. Prof. Nicholas will discuss the evidence behind using a simple 10-item screening questionnaire (ÖMPSQ-10) and how to use this tool to quickly and effectively influence your management from the first clinical encounter. This session addresses the key task of engaging our patients in psychologically-informed practice where the patient must appreciate the importance of self-management if they are to minimise their chances of developing avoiding disabling chronic pain.

Reference: Linton, S.J., Nicholas, M., MacDonald, S. (2011). Development of a Short Form of the the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire. Spine, 36, 1891-1895. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181f8f775


JUNE


Topic

Secure your own oxygen mask, before helping others: Why clinician wellbeing is crucial to patient outcomes

Presenter Dr. Claire Ashton-James
Date Wednesday 19th June 2019
Time 7.00-7.45pm AEST
Online Webinar

This will be an online webinar using Zoom.

To join the webinar, click this link: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/614351998

Important Note: Please make sure that your browser is set up to use Zoom before the webinar starts. You can do this by:

  • Clicking on the webinar room link now: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/614351998
  • Then download and run the Zoom launcher file as prompted
  • When it has installed, it will ask you for your email address and name and then you can enter the room.
  • You will see a message with the webinar title and date and time it will open.
  • Then you are all set-up!
Dr Claire Ashton-James.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Claire Ashton-James, PhD.

Email: claire.ashton-james@sydney.edu.au
Follow on Twitter: @DrAshtonJames

Claire Ashton-James, PhD is a Social Psychologist with expertise in the interpersonal realm of healthcare, and in particular, pain management. Her research spans the role of emotions and trust in patient-clinician interactions, social aspects of pain and pain management, and the development of social interventions to support patients who are tapering off opioid medications for chronic pain. Dr Ashton-James completed her PhD research in 2008 at Duke University (USA) on a full scholarship from the University of NSW (Australian Postgraduate Award) and completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia (Canada). As an Assistant Professor in The Netherlands, at the University of Groningen and then the VU Amsterdam, she spearheaded research at the intersection of social psychology and medicine, examining patients’ experience of trust and the relationship between patient trust and experience of procedural pain. Since returning to Australia to join The University of Sydney’s Pain Management Research Institute in 2015, her research has focused on clinician wellbeing and the impact of clinicians' emotions and behaviour on patients' experience of trust, pain, and treatment outcomes. In addition to her broad and interdisciplinary research activities, Claire draws on her deep expertise in social psychology to provide evidence-based emotion-focused communication coaching for clinicians to enhance patient trust, improve patients’ experience of care, and importantly, increase the wellbeing, professional satisfaction, and resilience of clinicians.