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?