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Pain

Pain Research

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2020 Emerging Leaders Prize – 2nd place – Dr Annina Schmid

Lead researcher

Dr Annina Schmid

Institution

University of Oxford

Status

Live

Amount awarded

£80,000

Last updated

17/12/20

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I am honoured to be the first allied health professional to receive this prestigious prize. It will not only allow me to answer an innovative and potentially game-changing research question, but it will also put physiotherapy pain research in the international spotlight.
Dr Annina Schmid
001 Annina Schmid Photo

Patients with nerve injuries often develop persistent nerve-related pain. A staggering 10 per cent of the general population experience such nerve-related symptoms, yet we do not understand why some patients recover whereas others continue to have symptoms for many years.

Dr Schmid is a Specialist Physiotherapist and an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford. Her research examines why some patients with nerve injuries recover whereas others develop persistent pain. To achieve this, she uses an exciting mix of methodologies, ranging from advanced neuroimaging to sensory profiling and analyses of human bio-samples.

The prize funding will allow Dr Schmid to build on her recent discoveries in patients with whiplash injury. She will examine whether injury to small nerve fibres in the skin explains why up to 50 per cent of people develop persistent pain after whiplash injury, and will also explore whether there are differences in skin gene expression between patients who have and have not recovered.

On being awarded the prize, Dr Schmid said:

“I am honoured to be the first allied health professional to receive this prestigious prize. It will not only allow me to answer an innovative and potentially game-changing research question, but it will also put physiotherapy pain research in the international spotlight. Importantly, I will examine whether low-cost bedside sensory tests that I have developed can identify such small fibre damage. This will enable early targeted intervention to prevent pain persistence.”

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