Project: Pain phenotyping in spinal disorders (CRPP Pain)
Keywords: Somatosensory system; neurophysiology; neuropathic pain; spinal cord injury; degenerative cervical myelopathy; pain phenotyping
This PhD position is embedded within the Clinical Research Priority Program PAIN – an interdisciplinary endeavor of the University of Zurich tackling pain mechanism in a variety of chronic pain cohorts, e.g., degenerative spinal disorders, complex regional pain syndrome and low back pain.
The presentation of neuropathic pain is complex and an improved understanding of distinct underlying mechanisms will be essential to develop novel treatment strategies. In particular, knowledge on pain phenotypes as prediction for neuropathic pain in degenerative spinal disorders are scarce. In comparison to traumatic spinal cord injury, clinical signs and symptoms in degenerative spinal disorders progress slower. Thereby, solid prospective longitudinal studies are needed to understand the evolution/progression of sensitization processes. The main goal of this PhD will be to monitor changes in the pain phenotype in degenerative cervical myelopathy from the acute to the chronic stage in order to search for a surrogate marker for neuropathic pain, its prediction, progression and pathophysiology. This will be achieved by adopting an elaborate test battery including clinical pain characterization, neurophysiology, pain modulation paradigms, and quantitative sensory testing.
Applicants should have a university degree in biology, biomedicine, medicine, or health sciences. They should have good knowledge in neurobiology and statistics. Experience in working with patients is a plus. Good use of German and English is mandatory.
What we offer
We offer varied and interesting work in an inspiring and socially relevant environment.
Place of work
Balgrist Campus, Balgrist University Hospital, Lengghalde 5, Zurich
Start of employment
January 1, 2022