Partnership &


We use our resources and expertise to get access to funds for collaborative cutting‑edge pain research and translate this to improved, real-world outcomes.

We are always looking for novel ways to tackle today’s challenges in health and wellbeing and part of our corporate responsibility is to provide grants to facilitate cutting-edge scientific research. We are involved in three regional projects co-funded by the EU and North Rhine Westphalia under a lead market competition scheme (‘Leitmarktwettbewerb.NRW’) to help advance the science behind effective pain therapies.

Predicting the efficacy of the next-generation of pain medicines

Innovative predictive test systems for identification of curative analgesics (NeuRoWeg)

This project aims at generating predictive research approaches for the development of disease-modifying drugs, including establishing human nociceptor and glia cultures derived from appropriately induced pluripotent stem cells, as well as in-depth pathway analysis in diabetic neuropathic pain.

Visualising binding of a drug to two targets at once

Positron-emission tomography (PET) ligands to assess dual modes of action of novel analgesics (Dual2PET)

This project is designed to demonstrate for the first time that PET imaging can give insights into simultaneous occupancies of two distinct targets by a single drug. The project will develop a novel PET tracer of a potassium channel (Kv7) plus 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) activator, and compare it with a standard TSPO PET ligand in animals. It will also identify allosteric modulators of μ-opioid plus nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptors.

Leading the science - pain biomarkers

Imaging pain using a PET tracer (PAIN-Vis)

This project aims to validate an objective and aetiology-based pain biomarker in humans to improve diagnosis and stratification of patients. The project will validate the PET-tracer in animal pain models and in pain patients.

Supporting the next generation of pain researchers

BonePain: The Innovative Training Networks of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA-ITN)

Part of the Horizon 2020 framework funded by the EU, this project aims to generate skills, training and career development for 13 PhD students to foster scientific expertise in bone pain. This project began in late 2015, and we are currently providing the supervision of one PhD student researching the role of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ system in an animal model of bone cancer pain.

Latest Updates

PainSpectrum – What, how, who?

Are you interested to learn more about how the PainSpectrum was developed and the reasoning behind it? Read our introductory article to the PainSpectrum here.

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Psychosocial Factors in Profiling IBS Patients

Read our article on how relevant the neuro-visceral axis is for the expression of symptoms from which visceral pain conditions, like IBS, can originate.

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Omics Approach to Identify Pain Pathways

Read our article about the steps we have taken to generate an integrated disease pathway map for pain which contains the major pathophysiological components.

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Mechanisms of Placebo & Nocebo Responses in Clinical Trials

View Prof. Ulrike Bingel's (University Hospital Essen, Germany) third and final PainSolve webinar in her Placebo Effect series.

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