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Simons Lab: academic year and summer opportunities

Laura Simons
Funding Sponsor: 
Dr. Laura Simons
Contact Email: (Alex Tremblay-McGaw)
Funding Deadline: 
December 1, 2021 - 11:59 pm

Research topics: We aim to alleviate suffering in youth with chronic pain via targeted assessment, treatment intervention, and experimental and neuroimaging methods to gain a mechanistic understanding of psychological processes in children with chronic pain and their parents.

Techniques: Projects include brain imaging, longitudinal clinical cohort, and treatment interventions studies.


Seeking undergrads for: Academic year, Summer

Required skills: None

This lab is particularly interested in mentoring: Undergrads from backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM

How to apply: Contact Alex Tremblay-McGaw (

Project information:

SPRINT: Signature for Pain Recovery IN Teens —This study will thoroughly characterize individuals via biological (i.e. brain structure and function, immune, sensory profiles), psychological state, and clinical endpoint (i.e., pain intensity, disability) data. Unbiased machine learning algorithms will identify a multivariate model comprised of the most prognostic biological, psychological, and clinical endpoints. The model will classify adolescents with and without resolving chronic MSK pain after a state-of-the art multidisciplinary pain treatment intervention.

Get Moving, GET Living: Graded exposure treatment for adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal pain — This is a randomized clinical trial examining typical pain management and graded exposure for youth with chronic pain, high pain related fear and functional disability.

PR-VR: Pain Rehabilitation Virtual Reality Platform — In the proposed Pain Rehabilitation-Virtual Reality Platform (PR-VR), we will examine the acceptability, feasibility, and utility of our VR interventions with a pediatric chronic pain population, which may prove to be a major contribution for our patients, as well as children at other institutions.

Fear learning in adolescents with chronic pain: Neural and behavioral mechanisms — This proposal investigates the mechanisms underlying fear learning, fear extinction, and disruption of fear reconsolidation in adolescents with chronic pain and healthy peers using behavioral and neuroimaging measures.