Senior Scientist and Scientific Director of the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
Michael C. Rowbotham, MD
Unraveling the mechanisms and improving management of chronic pain
Dr. Rowbotham’s research has greatly influenced how chronic pain is managed; from concept to FDA approval of topical local anesthetics for the neuropathic pain of post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), the initial trial of gabapentin for PHN, and the first controlled clinical trials of opioids for neuropathic pain. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
In collaboration with CPMCRI scientist Dr. Karin Petersen, current research efforts focus on the mechanisms, natural history, and management of chronic neuropathic pain, clinical trial design, opioid analgesic tolerance, and incorporation of human experimental pain models into testing of new analgesic agents.
Other key initiatives in the Rowbotham lab are aimed at linking CPMCRI investigators with primary care physicians and specialists throughout Sutter Health to understand how pain is currently managed, and to test strategies that will reduce the risk of addiction and overdose when opioids are used to treat chronic pain.
Dr. Rowbotham obtained his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, and completed research fellowships in psychopharmacology and in pain research. Dr. Rowbotham is a leader in the ACTTION public-private partnership between the FDA, NIH, academic investigators, and industry to accelerate treatment development by improving clinical trials. He is Treasurer of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Dr. Rowbotham received the Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award from the American Pain Society in 2011.
Representative publications include:
- Tzabazis A, Aparici CM, Rowbotham MC, Schneider MB, Etkin A, Yeomans DC. "Shaped magnetic field pulses by multi-coil repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) differentially modulate anterior cingulate cortex responses and pain in volunteers and fibromyalgia patients." Mol Pain 9(1): 33.
- Pereira MP, Werner MU, Ringsted TK, Rowbotham MC, Taylor BK, Dahl JB. "Does naloxone reinstate secondary hyperalgesia in humans after resolution of a burn injury? A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, cross-over study." PLoS One 8(5): e64608.
- Reda H, Greene K, Rice FL, Rowbotham MC, Petersen KL. Natural history of herpes zoster: late follow-up of 3.9 years (n=43) and 7.7 years (n=10). Pain, in press.
- Dworkin RH, Turk DC, Peirce-Sandner S, He H, McDermott MP, Farrar JT, Katz NP, Lin AH, Rappaport BA, Rowbotham MC. "Assay sensitivity and study features in neuropathic pain trials: An ACTTION meta-analysis." Neurology 81(1): 67-75.
- Werner MU, Petersen KL, Rowbotham MC, Dahl JB. "Healthy volunteers can be phenotyped using cutaneous sensitization pain models." PLoS One 8(5): e62733.
- Smith SM, Wang AT, Katz NP, McDermott MP, Burke LB, Coplan P, Gilron I, Hertz SH, Lin AH, Rappaport BA, Rowbotham MC, Sampaio C, Sweeney M, Turk DC, Dworkin RH. "Adverse event assessment, analysis, and reporting in recent published analgesic clinical trials: ACTTION systematic review and recommendations." Pain 154(7): 997-1008.
- Rowbotham MC, Gilron I, Glazer C, Rice AS, Smith BH, Stewart WF, Wasan AD. Can pragmatic trials help us better understand chronic pain and improve treatment? Pain;154(5):643-646.
- Finnerup NB, Scholz J, Attal N, Baron R, Haanpaa M, Hansson P, Raja SN, Rice AS, Rief W, Rowbotham MC, Simpson DM, Treede RD. Neuropathic pain needs systematic classification. Eur J Pain;17(7):953-956.