Center for Clinical Pharmacology

Research at the Center

lab detailsThe Center for Clinical Pharmacology fosters patient-centered research that will improve the use of diagnostics and drugs, increase clinical effectiveness and therapeutic outcomes, reduce adverse events, and deliver on the promise of targeted pharmacotherapy and personalized, precision medicine. Research at the center focuses on advancing the rational use of medicines, enabling the translation of basic research into actionable clinical pharmacotherapeutic research, and facilitating the translation of clinical research breakthroughs into improved clinical care.

Initial Research Focus on Pain

The center’s initial focus is on translational and clinical research to better understand and improve the treatment of pain, including how to best use existing drugs to treat pain, as well as developing and identifying new analgesic drugs and other therapeutic approaches for pain. 

The Scope of Chronic Pain

According to the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report, “Relieving Pain in America,” about 100 million American adults are affected by chronic pain, which is more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. The report recommended better data to define the scope of the pain problem, and it also recommended that health-care providers tailor pain care to each individual patient’s experience.

Work at the center is contributing to health care providers' ability to create personalize treatment programs for patients. In identifying more effective, tailor treatments for pain, researchers at the center also are trying to prevent some of the problems associated with pain medications.

Fighting the Epidemic of Abuse

In recent years, there has been a growing national conversation surrounding the use and abuse of opioids. The rate of deaths due to drug overdoses has been on a steady rise, surpassing car accidents as the number one cause of injury death, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In 2014, the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported deaths resulting from overdoses of prescription opioids had more than tripled since 2001.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 16,000 prescription opioid pain reliever deaths occur every year, equal to the number of homicide deaths. The annual economic cost of opioid abuse is more than $70 billion.

By finding better ways to use existing treatments, and identifying new treatment options, researchers at the center are taking on one of today's most prominent health care issues.

Learn more about the investigators and their individual research programs.