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UCI Health will see you now: Welcome to our new co-workers and patients from Fountain Valley, Lakewood, Los Alamitos and Placentia-Linda! 


The research mission of UCI Health Center for Pain and Wellness is to dynamically lead the way in clarifying key concepts in both the diagnosis and treatment of elusive pain concepts the medical community is just beginning to understand.

We have several clinic and basic research scientists and faculty who are dedicated to discovering innovations that can translate into alleviating pain and suffering for both hospitalized and ambulatory patients. The Center for Pain and Wellness is leading the way in understanding the impact and nature of pain.

Our researchers

  •  Catherine Cahill, PhD
  • Z. David Luo, MD, PhD
  • Sean Ostlund, PhD

Current Research

Basic Research

Catherine Cahill, PhD

  • Microglia Disrupt Reward Circuitry in Chronic Pain
  • Microglia disrupt cocaine reward in opioid-dependent states by modulating GABAergic chloride homeostasis
  • Changes in delta opioid receptor function in chronic pain states
  • Ultralow dose effects on pain-induced negative affect

Z. David Luo, MD

  • A novel pathway mediating the development of chronic orofacial neuropathic pain
  • Mechanism of calcium channel CaVα2δ1 protein mediated neuropathic pain
  • Nanoparticle mediated in vivo cell-type specific drug delivery for pain relief

Sean Ostlund, PhD

  • Impact of neuropathic pain on sucrose reward processing and mesolimbic dopamine release in models
  • Impact of opiate withdrawal on sucrose reward processing and mesolimbic dopamine release in models

Clinical/Translational Research

Kyle Ahn, MD

  • A double blind, randomized clinical trail comparing postoperative narcotic usage in patients receiving periarticular Liposomal bupivicaine vs. those patients receiving standard periarticular joint injections

James Cyriac, MD

  • Does single injection adductor canal block improve postoperative analgesia in patients receiving periarticular local anesthesia injections for total knee arthroplasty?

Michelle Fortier, PhD

  • Parental Perception and Response to Children's Pain at Home
  • Assessing and Managing Pediatric Cancer Pain: A 21st Century Innovative Approach
  • Treating Pain in Children with Cancer: A 21st Century Innovative Approach
  • Delayed Effects of Reappraisal, Reassurance, and Distraction on Pain and Distress in Children Undergoing Treatment for Cancer
  • Information Technology to Improve Management of Children's Cancer Pain
  • Managing Neonatal Pain and Distress: The Next Frontier
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