Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School


Anesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine

Clinical Interests
  • Headaches
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Back pain
  • Neurology
Medical Education
  • MD, PhD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Neurology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Wainger is Assistant Professor in Anesthesiology and Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. He studied molecular biology as an undergraduate at Princeton University and ion channel physiology in the MD/PhD program at Columbia University. He then completed medical residency in the Partners Neurology Program followed by a clinical fellowship in Pain Medicine at MGH, research fellowship with Clifford Woolf at Boston Children's Hospital and clinical investigator training through the Harvard Master's Program in Clinical and Translational Investigation. His clinical expertise spans the intersection of neurology and pain medicine.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary
Brian Wainger's lab fuses electrophysiology and stem cell biology to explore how abnormal neuronal physiology contributes to diseases of the motor and sensory nervous systems. Working with motor neurons derived from ALS patients and healthy controls, Dr. Wainger performed fundamental electrophysiological characterization and identified motor neuron hyperexcitability in ALS patient-derived motor neurons (Wainger et al., 2014). Mechanistic analysis of the motor neurons led to the identification of a novel therapeutic candidate, which will be investigated in a clinical trial.

On the sensory neuron front, Dr. Wainger developed a lineage reprogramming technique for derivation of pain sensing (nociceptor) neurons from human fibroblasts (Wainger et al., 2014). This technology has already revealed novel insights through disease modeling of familial painful neuropathy and promises to be valuable in the development of drug screens using human neurons.

View my most recent publications at PubMed

Wainger BJ, Buttermore ED, Oliveira JT, Mellin C, Lee S, Afshar Saber W, Wang A, Ichida JK, Chiu IM, Barrett L, Huebner EA, Bilgin C, Tsujimoto N, Brenneis C, Rubin LL, Eggan K, Woolf CJ. Modeling pain in vitro using noceptors reprogrammed from fibroblasts. Nature Neuroscience, 2014, in press.

Wainger BJ, Kiskinis EK, Mellin C, Wiskow O, Han S, Sandoe J, Perez NP, Williams AL, Lee S, Boulting G, Berry JD, Brown RH, Cudkowicz ME, Bean BP, Eggan K, Woolf CJ. Intrinsic membrane hyperexcitability of ALS patient-derived motor neurons. Cell Reports 2014;7:1-11

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Center for Pain Medicine
15 Parkman Street
Boston MA, 02114-3117
Phone: 617-726-8810
Fax: 617-726-3441

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