A photo of Christopher King.

Christopher D. King, PhD

  • Member, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Dr. King has contributed to science by looking at psychological and group-level (i.e., subgrouping of patients) factors underlying analgesic responses to opioid analgesics in healthy adults, opioid regulation of conditioned pain modulation (CPM), and ethnic differences in experimental pain sensitivity, clinical pain, and pain-related disability in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). CPM is used to look at the modulatory capacity in humans. It is reduce in chronic pain and older age. Reduction of CPM may contribute to pain and alter somatosensory processing and autonomic regulation. As part of the OA study, Dr. King also examined predictors of knee pain prospectively. Lastly, Dr. King has been involved in several independent studies exploring possible stress-related markers associated with cold pain, which is used as the conditioning stimulus in CPM. He has shown that pain induces the release of endocrine and immune markers, and that they can influence pain responsiveness in pain-free subjects.

Dr. King recently finished a study with naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, on pain modulation, which revealed an interesting interaction between the ability to inhibit pain through endogenous opioids and psychological functioning in pain-free subjects. The recent studies are a first step in a process to evaluate physiological responses induced by pain.

PhD: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2006.


Inflammation; digital health; wearables; pain; sleep; virtual reality

Research Areas




Preliminary evidence for conserved transcriptional response to adversity in adults with temporomandibular disorder. King, CD; Boggero, IA; Schulert, GS; Pickerill, HM; Cole, S. PAIN Reports. 2021; 6:e874.

Dataset used to refine a treatment protocol of a biofeedback-based virtual reality intervention for pain and anxiety in children and adolescents undergoing surgery. Orgil, Z; Karthic, A; Bell, N; Williams, SE; Ding, L; Kashikar-Zuck, S; King, CD; Olbrecht, VA. Data in Brief. 2023; 49:109331.

Clinical Characterization of Juvenile Fibromyalgia in a Multicenter Cohort of Adolescents Enrolled in a Randomized Clinical Trial. Lynch-Jordan, AM; Connelly, M; Guite, JW; King, C; Goldstein-Leever, A; Logan, DE; Nelson, S; Stinson, JN; Ting, TV; Wakefield, EO; et al. Arthritis Care and Research. 2023; 75:1795-1803.

Augmented pain-evoked primary sensorimotor cortex activation in adolescent girls with juvenile fibromyalgia. Tong, H; Maloney, TC; Payne, MF; Suñol, M; Dudley, JA; King, CD; Ting, TV; Kashikar-Zuck, S; Coghill, RC; López-Solà, M. PAIN. 2023; Publish Ahead of Print.

Spatial Tuning in Nociceptive Processing Is Driven by Attention. Adamczyk, WM; Katra, M; Szikszay, TM; Peugh, J; King, CD; Luedtke, K; Coghill, RC. Journal of Pain. 2023; 24:1116-1125.

The Spatial Features Of Pain: Mapping The Extent Of Experimental Pain. Adamczyk, W; Jackson, C; Schulze, G; Goldschneider, K; Kashikar-Zuck, S; King, CD; Coghill, RC. Pain Forum. 2023; 24:55.

The complexities of the sleep-pain relationship in adolescents: A critical review. Albinni, B; de Zambotti, M; Iacovides, S; Baker, FC; King, CD. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2023; 67:101715.

Diagnostic criteria for temporomandibular disorders-INfORM recommendations: Comprehensive and short-form adaptations for children. Nilsson, IM; Ekberg, EC; Michelotti, A; Al-Khotani, A; Alstergren, P; Conti, PC R; Durham, J; Goulet, JP; Hirsch, C; Kalaykova, S; et al. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. 2023; 50:99-112.

Wearable and mobile technology to characterize daily patterns of sleep, stress, presleep worry, and mood in adolescent insomnia. Menghini, L; Yuksel, D; Prouty, D; Baker, FC; King, C; de Zambotti, M. Sleep Health. 2023; 9:108-116.

Feasibility and acceptability of perioperative application of biofeedback-based virtual reality versus active control for pain and anxiety in children and adolescents undergoing surgery: protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial. Orgil, Z; Johnson, L; Karthic, A; Williams, SE; Ding, L; Kashikar-Zuck, S; King, CD; Olbrecht, VA. BMJ Open. 2023; 13:e071274.