Kristin L. Schreiber, MD, PhD
Associate Vice Chair of Research
Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Watch: ASPIRE: “Understanding Individual Biopsychosocial Variation in Pain Processing – Personalizing the Prevention and Treatment of Postsurgical Pain”

Kristin L. Schreiber, MD/PhD, is a Translational Pain Researcher with a PhD in Neuroscience, practicing as a Clinical Regional Anesthesiologist. Her primary research investigates the development of chronic pain after surgical injury, with particular interest in the mechanisms by which individual differences in psychosocial processing and nociceptive sensitivity lead to differential risk of chronic pain amongst individuals. She uses accurate measurement of patients’ preoperative psychosocial and psychophysical phenotype to prospectively identify individuals at highest risk of pain persistence, so that the processes underlying this propensity may be averted, and to understand the impact and practical application of interventions including regional anesthesia. In addition, she studies differences in self-administration of opioids, to identify problematic use patterns, as well as pragmatic clinical studies to reduce opioid consumption after surgery. In her human quantitative sensory testing lab, she investigates individual differences in pain processing that relate to the differential efficacy of non-opioid techniques in chronic pain patients. Her collaborative work has helped identify differential brain circuitry activation in individuals with prolonged pain after a repeated painful stimulus using fMRI. In previous work in animal models, she investigated the reciprocally amplifying interaction between immune and nervous systems, which leads to behavioral hypersensitivity and dysfunction in spinal cord and enteric nervous systems. Her other collaborative projects investigate how pain may be modulated by non-opioid analgesic techniques (regional anesthesia, yoga-based exercise, distraction, music, CBT, and open-label placebo). She has participated in national and international expert consensus groups to define standard definitions, methods and measures of pain to unite the research and clinical efforts to understand, treat and prevent postsurgical pain, including measurement of risk factors, and is part of the EPPIC-NET research group.