The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Translational Pain Research (CTPR) was established in 2006 by Jianren Mao, MD, PhD, a board certified anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist, to advance translational pain research.

Our Research

Graphic of the cycle of research at the Center for Translational Pain Research: basic research, to laboratory, to clinical research and drug development, to improved pain management, and back around to basic research.

The CTPR has developed a broad and innovative research portfolio and has received more than 20 grants including National Institutes of Health R01, R21 and P20 grants, foundation grants and industry sponsorships. CTPR researchers study the mechanisms of nociception and neuropathic pain, and chronic pain as a system-based integrated response. Research techniques developed from disciplines such as neuroscience, molecular biology, biochemistry, imaging, psychiatry and acupuncture are used to inform new approaches to pain management.

Clinical Research Unit

The CTPR Clinical Research Facility is located at 101 Merrimac Street in Boston – a short distance from the Mass General main campus. The unit occupies over 1,400 square feet and includes two exam/study rooms, a reception area and office space. The unit has access to Mass General's central clinical lab for blood/urine tests and other medical procedures such as MRI.

The clinical research facility currently has a staff of MD investigators, statisticians, study coordinators and research assistants. Several of the investigators are also attending physicians at the Mass General Pain Management Center on the main campus. The Pain Center treats patients with a variety of pain conditions in the inpatient pain service and in the outpatient pain clinic. The Clinical Research Facility has access to a large number of patients interested in participating in clinical pain research studies through the facility, Mass General’s clinical research database, and Partner’s Healthcare clinical research network.

The Clinical Research Facility is currently conducting IRB-approved clinical research projects, which are funded by NIH RO1 grants and other extramural funds.

Learn more about our current research studies.

Preclinical Research Laboratory

The CTPR Preclinical Research Laboratory is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard and occupies over 2,450 square feet of space. Funding to support the research currently comes from the NIH, Department of Defense subcontracts and the Federation of Anesthesia Education and Research. The laboratory employs modern research techniques, including:
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • Patch-clamping recording
  • Cell culture
  • siRNA techniques
  • Western blot
  • In situ hybridization real-time
  • PCR Behavioral testing
  • Pharmacology
  • Transgenic and knockout animal models