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Stanford researchers awarded close to $9 million for opioid, pain studies

Chronic pain, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute

Five Stanford researchers were awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health’s Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative. The HEAL grants address the nation’s opioid crisis by funding research into opioid misuse, as well as alternatives to pain treatment.

Laura Simons, PhD, associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, was awarded $5.4 million to study biological and behavioral processes in adolescents with high-impact chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Luis de Lecea, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Xiaoke Chen, PhD, associate professor of biology, received $1.64 million to investigate the connection between brain circuits involved in opioid use and sleep regulation.

Raag Airan, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiology, and Nolan Williams, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, received $1.4 million to study the delivery of ketamine to the brain as a treatment for chronic pain.