Pediatric Pain Research Center
Clinical Services and Specialties

Clinical Partners Contributing to Pain Research

Clinical services and specialties across Cincinnati Children's contribute to breakthrough research in the Pediatric Pain Research Center. Learn more about our clinical partners.

Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology offers families a comprehensive range of clinical services, including evidence-based assessment and treatment services. Research focuses on improving long-term outcomes for patients by revealing the interactions among behavior, biology, family environment, community and child health.

Epidermolysis Bullosa Center

The Epidermolysis Bullosa Center provides comprehensive care for children with epidermolysis bullosa, a group of rare genetic conditions that affect one in every 50,000 children. We work with research groups around the world to develop innovative treatments for patients with this disabling condition. In collaboration with the Pain Management team, we developed the first evidence-based care guidelines for the care of pain in epidermolysis bullosa, as well as a sensitive, relatively rapid, minimally invasive, comprehensive genetic assay for diagnosing the condition.

Functional Independence Restoration (FIRST) Program

The Functional Independence Restoration (FIRST) Program is one of the only CARF-certified inpatient rehabilitation programs for children and adolescents who are experiencing chronic pain syndromes and pain associated disability. Patients who benefit include those experiencing amplified musculoskeletal pain syndromes, complex regional pain syndrome (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), fibromyalgia, functional abdominal pain syndrome, noninflammatory joint or back pain or widespread pain related to joint hypermobility syndromes. Our research examines mechanisms of chronic pain, sleep, and factors leading to recovery from chronic pain.

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is a national and international referral destination, offering comprehensive services for pediatric gastrointestinal diseases. We have a strong tradition of research discoveries and development of treatments for children with digestive diseases, and are home to the Digestive Health Center, one of few programs supported by the National Institutes of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases.

  • The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center treats children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Our researchers are experts in inflammatory bowel disease and offer patients opportunities to take part in studies at every stage of the disease.
  • The Neurogastroenterology and Motility Disorders Center is one of the busiest and most comprehensive pediatric programs in the nation. Research advances include simplifying diagnostic tests for biliary atresia, developing a biomarker of disease activity for children with inflammatory bowel disease.
  • The Liver Transplant Center is committed to the discovery of new therapies and care protocols for children with liver disease. Our work and commitment to children and research has earned us recognition as one of the top liver centers in the world.
  • The Pancreas Care Center is dedicated to caring for children with pancreatic diseases, including acute, recurrent and chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic tumors, pancreatic insufficiency and pancreatic birth defects. Our team is actively involved in research to better understand the underlying causes of pediatric pancreatic disorders. We maintain a patient registry and use the data to identify ways to standardize patient care protocols in order to minimize exposure to narcotics, shorten hospital stays and improve clinical outcomes.

Headache Center

The Headache Center is a national leader in diagnosing and treating various headache disorders, including migraine, tension and chronic headaches. We research childhood headache disorders to examine new treatment options, improve characterization of childhood headache and response patterns, and understand genetic pathophysiology of childhood headaches.

Hypermobility Clinic

The Hypermobility Clinic provides care and treatment to patients with hypermobility disorders, including hypermobility spectrum disorder and hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS). Our researchers use a genetic-mapping approach to identify areas of the genome where the genetic cause of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may be found, and evaluate these regions by sequencing all the known genes within them.

Pain Management Center

The Pain Management Center provides pain care for infants, children and young adults. Since the needs of children with acute pain can differ from those of children with chronic pain, we offer a range of specialty services to address specific individual needs.

  • The Medical Pain Service provides expert care for patients with acute and chronic pain associated with several conditions and procedures. Research includes electronic health record database mining for outcomes research, opioid dose optimization on genetic factors affecting opioid tolerance and hyperalgesia, and determining personalized non-opioid ways of treating pediatric pain. We also collaborate with the Pancreas Care Center on outcomes research for the Total Pancreatectomy Islet Auto Transplantation (TPIAT) procedure. 
  • The Pain Management Clinic is nationally recognized for expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, research and education of complex pediatric pain conditions. Research includes studies that explore mechanisms of chronic pain, as well as studies of that are directed at optimizing cognitive-behavioral therapy and tailored physical therapy for patients with chronic pain.

Perioperative Pain Management

Perioperative Pain Management conducts multisite, prospective pharmacogenomics studies for chronic postsurgical pain, regional analgesia related efficacy studies, studies to optimize perioperative pain management, genetic, epigenetic and behavioral factors involved in the transition to chronic postsurgical pain in children undergoing major surgery.


Rheumatology provides diagnosis, education, treatment and follow-up for children with various rheumatic diseases. Rheumatology research areas include genetics, outcomes and treatment of many pediatric rheumatic diseases, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and juvenile fibromyalgia.