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.


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

2017 Calendar
















Cannabinoids and Pain Management

Presenter Mr Tony Hall
Date Thursday 9th February 2017
Time 3.30-4.30pm
Venue Norman Nock Lecture Room 1 & 2, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Dr Tony Hall.


Tony Hall is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacotherapeutics at Queensland University of Technology. He has 30 years experience as a hospital pharmacist, 27 of these in Clinical Pharmacy practice and 20 years experience within UK’s National Health Service. Tony is a clinical educator at both basic and advanced levels of pharmacy practice and has extensive experience of educational input to healthcare professions. He is a recognised Clinical Pharmacy expert in Palliative Care, Pain Management, Haematology/Oncology and Medication Risk Management.

Tony has been living in Australia since 1999 moving into a role as Clinical Pharmacist, Advanced in Persistent Pain at the Gold Coast Interdisciplinary Persistent Pain Centre in 2009. In this role Tony provides a holistic review of the use of a patient’s medication, educating the patient on the use of medication in their pain management. He is active in working to reduce the use of opioid analgesics and has maintained an active interest in the development of medical marijuana research in Australia.




Surgery for Pain

Presenter Professor Ian Harris
Date Tuesday 14th February 2017
Time 3.30-4.30pm
Venue Auditorium, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Prof Ian Harris.


Prof Ian Harris is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UNSW and an active clinician and researcher. His areas of clinical interest relate to trauma and fragility fractures. His academic interests include surgical outcomes, the evidence base for surgery, clinical trials, joint replacement, rehabilitation and clinical quality registries.

Ian is the author of the book Surgery - The Ultimate Placebo: A Surgeon Cuts Through the Evidence in which he argues that the evidence for the success for many common operations become current accepted practice without full examination of the evidence.



The Evolution of the Science of Pain: from gate control theory to central sensitisation

Presenter Professor Jane Ballantyne
Date Thursday 23rd March 2017
Time 3.00-4.00pm
Venue Meeting Room, Pain Management Research Institute, Douglas Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
RSVP Seats are limited. Please RSVP to
Prof Jane Ballantyne.


Professor Jane Ballantyne received her medical degree from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, England. She trained in Anaesthesia at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England, before moving to the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston in 1990. She became Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine in MGH in 1999. She moved to the University of Washington in 2011 as UW Medicine Professor of Education and Research. Her research is focused on the development of opioid management tools utilizing electronic outcomes assessment and rapid learning methodology. She has editorial roles in several leading journals and textbooks, and is a widely published author and is involved in the development of on-line educational programs. In 2014 she was appointed President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP).



Helping People Cope with Cancer Pain: Challenges and Opportunities

Presenter Professor Frank Keefe
Date Thursday 1st June 2017
Time 4.30-5.30pm
Venue Auditorium, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
RSVP Please RSVP to
Prof Frank Keefe.


Prof Frank Keefe is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Medicine and Anesthesiology and the Director of the Pain Prevention and Treatment Research Program at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina, USA. He is the Editor-in-Chief of PAIN, the highest ranking pain journal. Frank has broad interests in behavioral and psychological aspects of pain and pain management. He is internationally recognised for his research on pain coping and his controlled treatment outcome studies evaluating the efficacy of coping skills training interventions for persons suffering from persistent disease-related pain. Managing pain in the elderly has been a major area of his research in recent years, with a number of published studies on the cognitive-behavioral management of pain in patients with OA. A particular focus of this work has been on the training of health care professionals from different disciplines in the use of coping skills training for pain patients. Current research projects include the evaluation of the efficacy of a cognitive behavior therapy and education intervention for managing pain in patients having breast cancer and prostate cancer.



Psychological influence on Treatment Outcomes: Utilising Placebo and Nocebo Effects

Presenter Dr. Kate Faasse
Date Wednesday 4th October 2017 (please note new date, time and venue)
Time 5.00-6.00pm
Venue Auditorium, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Dr Kate Faasse.


Dr. Kate Faasse is a Lecturer at the UNSW School of Psychology. Kate’s research investigates the influence of social modelling of both side effects and medication benefits, perceptions of medication branding and generic drugs, how having a choice of treatments (compared to no choice) impacts health outcomes, the influence of medication price, and how changes in medications (e.g. a change to a different brand or formulation) can impact placebo and nocebo responding. This important work aims to elucidate the mind-body factors that contribute to treatment outcomes. Clinically this work can assist in enhancing treatment effectiveness and reducing side effects, as well as increasing treatment adherence, improving health outcomes, and enhancing patient quality of life. We are also pleased to have Kate share her expertise as a key speaker at our upcoming Placebo Symposium in November.



The use of digital technologies to lever improved pain care

Presenter A/Prof. Helen Slater
Date Tuesday 17th October 2017
Time 4.00-5.00pm
Venue Auditorium, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
A/Prof Helen Slater.


A/Prof Helen Slater holds a senior academic position at the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University. Helen's research, teaching and clinical interests lie in the area of musculoskeletal pain with her main focus on reforming systems, services and clinical interactions to improve person-centred pain care. She co-leads a small team whose program of research is focused on evaluation and implementation of health policy for musculoskeletal health, and building capacity through the use of digital technologies to help close evidence-practice gaps in musculoskeletal health care. Helen also investigates the complex and multidimensional mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain using experimental and clinical human pain research methodologies such as quantitative sensory testing to develop clinical phenotypes. Helen holds current appointments on the Australian Digital Health Agency (Clinical Technical Advisory Committee), and is co-chairing the IASP Physical Therapy curricula revision for 2018 Year of Pain Education.