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Local Pain Management Researchers Receive Grants from the National Institutes of Health ‘Helping to End Addiction Long-Term’ Initiative

Milwaukee, Oct. 18, 2019 – Five researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) have been awarded more than $4 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research projects that aim to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction. These awards are part of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the NIH this year as a part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative (HEAL) to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis.

Amanda Brandow, DO, associate professor of pediatrics and hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplantation, and Julie Panepinto, MD, professor of pediatrics and hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplantation received $2.6 million in funding for their work to advance pain management in sickle cell disease. Carol Everson, PhD, professor of medicine and cell biology, neurobiology & anatomy; Christopher Olsen, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology & toxicology, and Hershel Raff, PhD, professor of medicine, surgery and physiology, were awarded $1.5 million in support of the project on sleep deficiency as a risk factor and therapeutic target in opioid addiction and relapse.

The NIH launched the HEAL Initiative in April 2018 to improve the prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction to enhance pain management. This initiative aims to take a multi-pronged approach to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.

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