Prof. Joanna Bourke

Prof.-Joanna-BourkeJoanna Bourke is a Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the prize-winning author of eleven books, including histories on modern warfare, military medicine, psychology and psychiatry, the emotions and rape. Among others, she is the author of Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain, and the Great War (1996), An Intimate History of Killing (1999), Fear: A Cultural History (2005) and Rape: A History from the 1860s to the Present (2007). Her book, What it Means to be Human: Reflections from 1791 to the Present, was published by Virago in 2011. In 2014, she was the author of The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers (OUP) and Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play are Invading our Lives(Virago, November 2014). Her books have been translated into Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, and Greek. An Intimate History of Killing won the Wolfson Prize and the Fraenkel Prize. Her 40-CD audio history of Britain, entitled “Eyewitness” won the Gold for the Best Audio Production for Volume 1910-1919, the Gold for the Best Audio Production for Volume 1940-1949, and the Gold for the Most Original Audio for all 10 volumes. She is a frequent contributor to TV and radio shows, and a regular correspondent for newspapers.

Dr. Serge Marchand

Dr.-Serge-MarchandDr. Serge Marchand, Ph.D., is a Professor of Medicine at the Univ. de Sherbrooke, directing the pain research labs at the Research Center of the Sherbrooke University hospital. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from the Université de Montréal in 1992 and then after completed his post-doctoral training in neuroanatomy at the University of California, San Francisco in 1994. He is the author of several articles and book chapters in the field of pain mechanisms and treatment and is the author of the book “The Phenomenon of Pain” at IASP press 2012 and the book “Mental Health and Pain” at Springer Press 2014. His projects aim at better understanding the role of factors such as sex hormones, the autonomic, spinal and cortical activity related to pain perception in healthy subjects during their development, from infants to elderly and in different population of patients suffering from chronic pain. Prof. Marchand’s research is characterized by a close link between fundamental and clinical projects on the neurophysiological and psychological mechanisms implicated in the development and the persistency of chronic pain.

Dr. Martin Diers

Martin Diers is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Central Institute of Mental Health Medical Faculty Mannheim, University Heidelberg. He holds a PhD in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience from the Medical Faculty Mannheim, University Heidelberg obtained in June 2006. In 2011 he won the first price of the young investigator Award for Pain research of the Janssen-Cilag GmbH, was nominated for Best Poster Presentation of the 7th Congress of the European Federation of IASP® Chapters (EFIC®) and was elected scholar of the European Pain School (IBRO summer school) held in Siena in June. In 2012, he won the Early Career Research Grant offered by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP®) and was elected for the IBRO Alumni Symposium at the FENS Forum. His scientific interests focus on psychobiological mecanisms in chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain. To study these phenomena, he combines different techniques including EEG, fMRI and PET.

Book Project: What is pain; Is pain real?

{Co-writing with Dr. Finn Nortvedt}

Dr. Yoshio Nakamura

Dr. Nakamura is an Assistant Professor at the Pain Research Center in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Utah, USA. His background includes cognitive psychology (UC San Diego), affective science (UC Berkeley & University of Wisconsin-Madison), and pain research (University of Washington). He has been the Principal Investigator of several previous NIH research grant awards: 1) a laboratory-based study of experimentally-induced placebo analgesia and 2) a developmental/exploratory research program on mind-body interactions and their effects on health and illness. The focus of ongoing research supported by his current DoD awards is how “awareness training” (that is designed to cultivate the quality of awareness) can produce therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from multi-morbid symptoms (e.g, veterans with a) Gulf War Illness and b) mild Traumatic Brain Injury). He has been previously involved in directing research studies testing mind-body intervention protocols for treating people with chronic illness, such as chronic pain and insomnia.He has been a part of an interdisciplinary and translational research team with diverse expertise in research and clinical areas dealing with pain and other chronic illness conditions.His long term goal is to investigate whether cultivation of awareness can ameliorate chronic physical and mental health conditions that are difficult to treat by biomedical means alone. He would welcome an opportunity to participate in the ongoing creation of contemplative sciences that critically explore the nature of the mind in a self-reflective manner from trans-disciplinary perspectives. He believes this emerging trend interfacing contemporary brain/cognitive sciences and contemplative wisdom traditions has important implications for our understanding of pain and suffering.

Workshop 2009: Link to the video

Book Project: How does suffering emerge from chronic pain?

{Co-writing with Dr. Catherine Kerr and Dr. Camila Valenzuela Moguillansky}

Sharon Webber-Zvik

Sharon Webber-Zvik is an Art Director and Graphic Designer from Israel. Her passion for testing the boundaries between graphic design and art became an official profession in 2003. She accompanied  the “Pain and Suffering” project since its establishment, being in charge of all the visual aspects of the group’s activities, in digital and printed media. Her other projects include a variety of blogs, online stores and print – representing her aspiration to  create visuals that stand out, challenge the mind and attract attention. Some of her work has been described by  professionals as “ground-breaking”, and has been nominated amongst finalists in several professional competitions. In her current projects, the “Pain and Suffering” program included, she tries to create something new, with a strong artistic impact, that while serving the needs of the clients and its communication rules, still leaves the viewers with an emotional experience and a long lasting memory. In 2013, Sharon Webber-Zvik, received the honorable Golden A Design Award for her visual work on Pain and Suffering.

Dr. Catherine Kerr

Catherine Kerr investigates the effects of mindfulness meditation, Tai Chi and other mind-body therapies on the brain. The underlying motivation for her brain science comes from her initial qualitative investigations of the experience of mindfulness and Tai Chi, which she has found share a common thread: both therapies address suffering by training a close, focused attention to body sensations during meditative practice. This qualitative insight has given the impetus for her investigations into the effects of moment-by-moment body-focused attention in Tai Chi and mindfulness meditation on electrical rhythms in somatosensory and motor areas in the brain that are now thought to modulate brain function in subtle, important ways. Her goal is to use these neuroscientific findings on brain rhythms and mind-body therapies to enhance currently available treatments for chronic pain, aging disorders and depression (since these are disorders where mindfulness meditation and Tai Chi have shown clearest positive therapeutic impacts).

Link: Dr. Catherine Kerr

Workshop 2009: Link to the video

Book Project: How does suffering emerge from chronic pain?

{Co-writing with Dr. Camila Valenzuela Moguillansky & Dr. Yoshio Nakamura }

Prof. Kenneth Craig

Prof. Kenneth Craig’s research focuses upon pain assessment, nonverbal communication, socialization of individual differences in pain experience and expression, social parameters of care delivery and pain in infants, children and people with communication limitations. This is published in better than 200 articles in scholarly journals, volumes and books. His current research is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. At the University of British Columbia, he has served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology. He presently the Chair of the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board. His Honours have included The Canada Council I. W. Killam Research Fellowship, a research career award as a CIHR Senior Investigator, the Canadian Pain Society Distinguished Career Award, the Canadian Psychological Association Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as well as Science and the American Pain Society Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children’s Pain Relief. He has served as President of the Canadian Pain Society and the Canadian Psychological Association. At present, he is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the UBC Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. He is Editor-in-Chief of Pain Research & Management, the journal of the Canadian Pain Society.

Website: Dr. Kenneth Craig

Book Project: Can pain and suffering be measured?

{Co-writing with Sascha Benjamin Fink }

Dr. Paul Dawalibi

Paul Dawalibi is a Lebanese philosopher, specializing in phenomenology, teaching at Saint Paul Institute (University) in Lebanon. Between 2008 to 2011, he was teaching philosophy to the preparatory classes at Stanislas College in Paris. Paul Dawalibi has also served as the Director of a prevention center for persons in situations of delinquency and prostitution  at Aux Captifs, La Liberation Association, Paris. His research has ranged over phenomenology, psychic and existential analyses, insecure identity, egoism, narcissism, birth and death, love theory, losing theory, vulnerability, suffering and pain, psychic suffering, existential suffering. Paul Dawalibi’s books in French include “L’Amour comme aban-don de soi” (2009), “L’identité aban-donnée, un essai sur la phénoménologie de la souffrance” (2011), “Métaphysique et psychanalyse” (2012).

Book Project:

What are the parallels between physical suffering and existential suffering?

{Co-writing with Prof. Rita Charon}

Prof., MD. Sumio Hoka

Sumio Hoka is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology, Kyushu University, Japan. He graduated in 1978 at the Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Japan. In 1985-1987 he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, USA, where he researched anesthetic effects on the reflex regulation of circulation. Sumio is currently working, as an anesthesiologist, in clinical anesthesia in the operating room, and in the pain clinic as well as in palliative care. His interest in pain management led him to the questions about the abilities of medicines treating chronic pain and cancer pain. He followed his interest in considering the different cultural aspects of pain (east versus the west) and the expression of pain in literature. He published books entitled “Listen to the voice of pain” (2005) and “Between sleep and awake” (2009) both in Japanese.

Website: Prof. Sumio Hoka

Book Project: Can the understanding of Pain & Suffering end Suffering?

{Co-writing with Hin Hung Sik and Dr. Smadar Bustan}



Prof. Gillian Bendelow

Before entering higher education as a mature student, Gillian Bendelow worked in London’s East End as a ward sister and community psychiatric nurse. Gillian has made research contributions to the fields of chronic pain and ‘contested’ illness conditions; mental health and emotional wellbeing; health promotion and lay concepts of health and illness. Core aspects of her substantive interests in pain, emotion and embodiment overlap with other areas of social science, medicine and humanities, and this dialogue is reflected in her current work which is concerned with understanding models of health and illness in contemporary healthcare, with a strong focus on explaining and transcending the often unhelpful divisions and polarisation between ‘the natural’ and ‘the social’, biological and cultural, arts and sciences. Gillian is regularly invited as a keynote/plenary speaker to international academic and policy-oriented events and has received past external research funding from the ESRC, NHS, EU, the Wellcome Trust and cancer charities. She a Trustee for the Foundation for Sociology of Health and Illness and a Member of Advisory Board, Chronic Pain Australia ( 2010- present). She is author of “Pain and Gender” (Pearson Education 2000), “Health Emotion and the Body” (Polity 2009) and co- author of “The Lived Body” (Routledge 1998) as well as many edited books and journal articles.

Book Project: Does emotional pain express itself through the body?

{Co-writing with Prof. Esther Cohen }