David Borsook, M.D., Ph.D.
David Borsook, M.D., Ph.D., is a neurologist and neurobiologist by training. He is the director of the Pain and Imaging Neuroscience Group at Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and McLean Hospital. For five years, he directed the MGH’s Pain Center. He has been involved in a number of national and international pain programs, including the World Health Organization’s Cancer Pain Initiative in China. In 1994, while at MGH, he established a research program with the support of NIH and other non-profit research foundations investigating the use of fMRI in pain and analgesia. In 2002 he left MGH and together with his colleagues co-founded Descartes Therapeutics, Inc., a venture-backed biotechnology company that aimed to use fMRI in drug development. In 2004 he returned to academia and established an active imaging program that included one of the first academic-industry consortia on the use of imaging in drug development.
Dr. Borsook’s research focuses on understanding plasticity of brain systems in pain and analgesia using neuroimaging technologies in humans and animals. He discovered (inadvertently!) a novel drug for chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain that is now in Phase II trials. He has authored a number of patents in the field of imaging in clinical drug development and is the senior editor of three books, including the first pain treatment manual at MGH, a book on imaging in drug development, and another on imaging in migraine. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed papers in the field.
A Future Without Chronic PainNeuroscience and Clinical Research
Chronic pain affects 1.5 billion people worldwide, an estimated 100 million of whom live in the United States. Yet we currently have no effective treatment options. Fortunately, research advances have determined some of the ways in which chronic pain changes the brain, and several promising research areas could lead to better treatment approaches. Dr. David Borsook recommends steps to facilitate these new treatments, including the establishment of integrated clinical neuroscience centers bridging the gap between bench and bedside.