What is the role of dopamine, or a lack of dopamine, in the development of chronic pain?

This was the question posed by Susanne Becker, PhD, one of the winners of the 2016 EFIC-Grünenthal Grant (E-G-G).

The subsequent experiment used a dopamine receptor antagonist in healthy patients and observed their effect on brain responses to heat pain using fMRI. The E-G-G gave her and her lab the funding needed to pursue this innovative research.

“The E-G-G is special,” says Becker, PhD. “The process is uncomplicated. They answered all of my questions, even the “stupid” ones.”

After winning the award, Becker, PhD found that the financial funding was only part of the prize. The E-G-G also gave her and her research more visibility.

“There’s a sense of prestige to it,” says Becker, PhD. “You really feel like you’re a rising star in the field.”

What is Becker, PhD’s advice for would-be applicants?

“Just try it!”

 Susanne Becker, PhD is currently the Head of the Psychobiology of Pain Research Group at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany. You can read more about  Becker’s research here.

 The preliminary findings of the study are expected to be presented at the EFIC Congress in Valencia in September 2019.

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