World-renowned chronic pain scientist to present at 2019 BBH Founder’s Day

Marjorie S. Miller
March 27, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Linda Watkins, distinguished professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, will present the keynote lecture, “‘Listening' and 'Talking' to Neurons: Non-Neuronal Cells Amplify Pain and Drug Reward,” at 3:30 p.m. on April 5 in the Ruth Pike Auditorium, room 22, in the Biobehavioral Health Building on University Park campus. 

Watkins is a world-renowned scientist in the area of chronic pain. A main goal of her research is to improve the control of chronic pain by focusing on the role of non-neuronal cells, such as glia, in the enhancement of pain. 

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the 2019 Founder's Endowment for Excellence and Innovation Research Day, hosted by the Department of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development.

Watkins employs pharmacological and gene therapy approaches to understand what triggers glia to release pain-enhancing substances and to develop glially-focused intervention strategies to prevent and control chronic pain.

She has received numerous grants to examine neural processes contributing to the manifestation of chronic pain and has published more than 400 journal articles in prestigious journals including Nature and Science. In addition, she has been received the 2018 Faculty Teaching Award from the University of Colorado Boulder, the 2005 Norman Cousins Distinguished Research Award from the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society, and the 2005 F.W.L. Kerr Distinguished Basic Science Research Award from the American Pain Society.

The purpose of the Founder’s Endowment for Excellence and Innovation Research Day is to bring in a world-renowned scientist as a speaker, who conducts research important and central to the field of biobehavioral health, according to event organizers Christopher Engeland, associate professor, and Anne-Marie Chang, assistant professor, of biobehavioral health. 

In addition to Watkins’ keynote, Penn State biobehavioral health students will present their research through presentations and research posters preceding the lecture.

The Founder’s Endowment for Excellence and Innovation Research Day is made possible through support from the BBH Founders Endowment for Excellence and Innovation. The endowment was created in 2011, at the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Biobehavioral Health. The fund was established by Anne C. Petersen, a former dean of the College of Health and Human Development, and her husband, the Rev. Douglas Petersen.

The fund supports initiatives and activities that enhance the educational and/or outreach efforts of the department in ways that foster innovation, excellence and the advancement of science and knowledge.

Event schedule:

  • 1:20 to 2:20 p.m. – Graduate student presentations
  • 2:20 to 3:30 p.m. – Poster reception with light refreshments
  • 3:30 to 5 p.m. – Linda Watkins, keynote speaker, presenting “‘Listening' and 'Talking' to Neurons: Non-Neuronal Cells Amplify Pain and Drug Reward.”

Learn more about the 2019 Founder's Endowment for Excellence and Innovation Research Day.

  • Linda-Watkins

    Linda Watkins, distinguished professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, will present the keynote lecture, “‘Listening' and 'Talking' to Neurons: Non-Neuronal Cells Amplify Pain and Drug Reward,” on April 5. Her lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the 2019 Founder's Endowment for Excellence and Innovation Research Day, hosted by the Department of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development.

    IMAGE: Image provided

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 04, 2019