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.

2016 Calendar
















Clinical Utility of Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST)

Presenter Dr Niamh Moloney
Date Wednesday 10th February 2016
Time 4.00-5.00pm
Venue Norman Nock Lecture Room 1 & 2, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Niamh Moloney.


Dr Niamh Moloney is a Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University. With a clinical background in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, she completed her PhD in 2012 investigating pain and sensory profiles in non-specific arm pain and cervical radiculopathy. Her research focuses on the assessment of pain sensitisation in various clinical populations. She was recently awarded an IASP Early Career Researcher Grant (2015) to investigate risk factors for persistent arm pain following breast cancer treatment. She has over 25 peer-reviewed publications.

APRIL 2016


Using Psychology in Pain Management: Why being faithful to training matters

Presenter Prof Frank Keefe
Date Thursday 7th April 2016
Time 4.30-5.30pm
Venue Norman Nock Rooms 1 & 2, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Frank Keefe.


Prof Frank Keefe is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences and 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. This includes a recent Australian study with physiotherapists (Bennell et al., BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012; 13: 129) and an American study with nurses (Broderick et al., PAIN 2014; 155: 1743-54).

  We acknowledge and thank Pain Adelaide who sponsored Prof Frank Keefe's visit to Australia for the Pain Adelaide 2016 Conference. Pain Adelaide.


From Pain to Pleasure: How painful experiences may benefit our lives

Presenter Dr Brock Bastian
Date Thursday 28th April 2016
Time 4.00-5.00pm
RSVP Seats are limited. Please RSVP to
Venue Meeting Room, Pain Management Research Institute, Douglas Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Brock Bastian.


Dr Brock Bastian is an ARC Future Fellow at the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne. He received his PhD in social psychology from The University of Melbourne in 2007. Since then he has held research fellowships at the University of Queensland and a Future Fellowship at the University of New South Wales. As of 2016 he returned to the University of Melbourne. His research broadly focuses on pain, happiness, and morality, for which he has received numerous awards and media attention.

MAY 2016


Pain in Cancer Survivors - Setting a Research Agenda

Presenter Professor Paul Glare
Date Thursday 26th May 2016
Time 4.00-5.00pm
Venue PMRI Meeting Room, Douglas Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Paul Glare.


Professor Paul Glare is the Chair of Pain Medicine at Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney and the Director of the Pain Management Research Centre at Royal North Shore Hospital. He has recently returned to Australia after working in New York as Chief of the Pain & Palliative Care Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is a Fellow in the Faculty of Pain Medicine (ANZCA) and in the Chapter Palliative Medicine (RACP). His research interests include cancer/cancer survivor pain, the comparative effectiveness of chronic pain therapies, and decision architecture/social psychology/behavioural economics as they relate to healthcare decision making.

JUNE 2016


Medical Communication and Perceived Medication Efficacy

Presenter Prof Leslie Martin
Date Thursday 30th June 2016
Time 4.00-4.45pm
Venue Norman Nock Rooms 1 & 2, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Leslie Martin.


Prof Leslie Martin has dedicated 20 years of research to understanding the role of clinician-patient communication in patient outcomes, including adherence. Prof Martin has authored seminal books on this topic, including Health Behavior Change and Treatment Adherence: Evidence-based Guidelines for Improving Healthcare.


Innovative Strategies for Supporting Treatment Adherence: What We Know Works and What’s On the Horizon

Presenter A/Prof Kristin Riekert 
Date Thursday 30th June 2016
Time 4.45-5.30pm
Venue Norman Nock Rooms 1 & 2, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Kristin Riekert.


A/Prof Kristin Riekert is an Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Director of Cystic Fibrosis Adherence Program and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Adherence Research Center. A/Prof Riekert is Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on several NIH and foundation sponsored intervention trials focused on improving self-management and health outcomes in chronic illnesses.

JULY 2016


Personalised Pain Management for Patients with Advanced Cancer

Presenter Dr David Hui
Date Thursday 7th July 2016
Time 4.30-5.30pm
Venue Auditorium, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
David Hui.


Dr David Hui is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine and Department of General Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Dr. Hui actively practices palliative care and medical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. As a tenured faculty, his research interests include symptom management, integration of supportive/palliative care into oncology, prognostication and research methodology. He has authored and/or co-authored over 150 scientific papers, with his work appearing in various peer review journals such as the Journal of American Medical Association, Lancet Oncology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer and The Oncologist. In addition to multiple book chapters, he is the author/editor of 3 books including Internal Medicine Issues in Palliative Cancer Care: A Practical Guide. He is the recipient of multiple clinical, research, teaching, and leadership awards, and has been invited to present at various national and international meetings.



Can early intervention improve outcomes for injured workers?

Presenter Professor Michael Nicholas
Date Thursday 1 September 2016
Time 12noon-1pm Sydney Time (AEST)
Venue Online only
How to view You can now watch a recording of this session by clicking on this link:
Michael Nicholas.


Professor Michael Nicholas directs Pain Education at the Pain Management Research Institute, which is part of the Faculty of Medicine 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 directs several pain management programs. He has an international reputation in this field with over 160 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.


Psychological and environmental (especially workplace) issues have long been identified as risk factors for delayed recovery from work injuries. Despite that knowledge, most guidelines on early injury management recommend a "wait and see" approach and only assess for these risk factors if expected return to work progress is not evident within 4-6 weeks. This means that any intervention for these risk factors is likely to be delayed until 9-12 weeks at best. This risks more intractable problems and rising costs.

This talk describes a new study in which injured workers approved for at least a week off work were screened for psychosocial risk factors and those scoring high on the screening tool were offered an opportunity to see a psychologist for help with any psychosocial obstacles for RTW. Staff from 17 NSW hospitals participated in the trial, with some hospitals acting as the ‘control’ (early assessment but management as usual) while the others were offered the early intervention protocol. The preliminary, short-term results indicated those at risk of delayed RTW could be identified by the screening tool within a week of their injury, and implementation of the intervention protocol demonstrated clear benefits over usual practices. But it is critical to appreciate that successful implementation of the protocol requires cooperation by the key stakeholders (claims managers, workplace, injured workers, and treatment providers). These findings have important implications for the management of recently injured workers and their associated pain.


Cannabinoids in neuropathic pain (models)

Presenter Dr Chris Vaughan
Date Thursday 15th September 2016
Time 4.00-5.00pm Sydney Time
Venue Norman Nock Rooms 1 & 2, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Chris Vaughan.


Dr Chris Vaughan is head of the Cellular Research Group at the Pain Management Research Institute, The University of Sydney. Dr Vaughan’s research has focused on the mechanisms underlying chronic pain and the actions of pain relieving drugs. A key aim of this work is to identify novel drug therapies for the treatment of chronic pain. Much of this work has been focused on developing pharmacotherapies, based upon the plant Cannabis sativa, which might be used to engage the body’s own cannabis-like neurotransmitter system.



Questions about assessment in chronic pain: challenges and future directions

Presenter Professor Geert Crombez 
Date Thursday 1st December 2016
Time 4.00-5.00pm
RSVP Seats are limited. Please RSVP to
Venue Norman Nock Rooms 1 & 2, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Geert Crombez.


Prof Geert Crombez is Professor of Health Psychology in the Department of Experimental-Health Psychology at Ghent University, Belgium. He obtained his PhD in 1994 on the role of learning psychology in pain. Over the last 18 years, he has initiated and facilitated experimental research in experimental psychopathology, learning psychology, and health psychology and has published more than 250 internationally peer-reviewed papers in these areas.

Currently, he is coordinating the research on the psychology of (chronic) illness, in particular the role of psychological and social variables on symptom perception, disability and suffering, and its implications for clinical practice. His approach is grounded in contextual functionalism. He focuses upon the development of integrative models of symptom perception, disability and suffering that are built primarily around the dynamic nature of goals and self-regulation. His research interests include systematic and critical reviews in clinical and health psychology; eHealth interventions in clinical and health psychology; the role of cognitive and motivational factors in the experience of symptoms, distress and disability; and learning psychology and ill-health.


Back to the Future: Can Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) assist Physiotherapists in treating chronic low back pain?

Presenter Dr Emma Godfrey
Date Thursday 15th December 2016
Time 3.00-4.00pm
Venue Auditorium, Level 5, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards
Emma Godfrey.


Dr Emma Godfrey is a Health Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at King’s College London. Her first degree was in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford, after which she qualified as a dramatherapist and began a research career, completing a PhD in Psychology in 2004. Emma is an experienced researcher and practitioner who specialises in the development and evaluation of novel interventions to manage long-term conditions, such as chronic low back pain and food allergy and intolerance. Emma is currently chief investigator on the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-based treatment (PACT) trial in collaboration with physiotherapy services across King’s Health Partners in London, UK. She is particularly interested in building the research base for psychologically informed interventions delivered by the multidisciplinary team as part of routine clinical practice.