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The London Pain Consortium

John Wood, Professor of Molecular Biology at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, Steve McMahon, Professor of Physiology at King's College London, Franziska Denk and Alva Chen talk about their research at the London Pain Consortium (LPC).

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Running time: 4 min 19 s
Read the transcript [PDF 144KB]


Pain is a familiar yet relatively little-understood element of our physiology. Its study can offer insights into our nervous system and treatments for the largely neglected area of chronic pain. The London Pain Consortium has brought together pain researchers in the Greater London region to facilitate better collaborations, broader approaches to study, and the training of the next generation of pain scientists. Through this they hope to deepen our understanding of pain processes and find new targets for the development of pain-relieving drugs.

Pain serves an evolutionarily and physiologically useful function. It warns us against danger, forcing us to withdraw from anything that would damage us. Chronic pain is different: often associated with disease or disorder, it is constant to the extent that it stops people from functioning and often leads to depression. A common yet undertreated problem, it is estimated to affect as many as one in five of the European population and treatments are limited, often unable to effectively relieve the symptoms and subject to severe side-effects.

The field of pain research has grown considerably over the last 30 years, and a number of the world’s leading pain researchers now practise in London. The London Pain Consortium (LPC), established in 2002 with an Integrative Animal and Human Physiology Award from the Wellcome Trust, harnesses this concentration of talent. Its members aim to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms underlying pain and find new drug targets to help to relieve the burden of chronic pain, while training the next generation of pain scientists.

The LPC is funded by a Strategic Award.

Key discoveries

The key discoveries made by the LPC.

Making a difference

The impact of the LPC's research and its training programme for students.
Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK T:+44 (0)20 7611 8888