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Associate Professor of Anesthesiology


Postdoctoral Fellowship: RNA Biology, Duke University Medical Center (2012)
Graduate School: Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology, Georgetown University (2008)
Undergraduate: B.S., Virginia Tech (2003)


What was your greatest recent accomplishment? 

I am always most proud of the accomplishments of my trainees because it means that I’ve instilled in them an enthusiasm for research and have taught them a thing or two along the way. 

What is your lab’s research focus? 

My lab is interested in understanding mechanisms driving the development of chronic musculoskeletal pain following traumatic stress exposures with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic strategies that reduce the burden of chronic pain suffering across the globe. To accomplish this goal, we use translational research methods including the analysis of biological data from longitudinal observational human cohort studies and behavioral, molecular, and cell culture models of the human pain condition. We are particularly interested in the role that the physiological stress system plays in chronic pain development and are also interested in understanding why women are far more vulnerable to chronic pain than men. Overall, my lab’s goal is to develop at least one novel, non-addictive, therapeutic strategy that is effective at reducing chronic pain in the millions of trauma survivors in need each year. 

What grants have you received? 

2024-2029: Sex-Dependent microRNA-mediated Pathways to Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Following Trauma
NIAMS R01AR081454
PI: S. Linnstaedt 

2023-2025: Repurposing Estrogen-Containing Emergency Contraceptives for the Prevention of Chronic Pain Following Sexual Assault 
Cures Within Reach
PI: S. Linnstaedt 

2022-2027: Discovering Diagnostics, Subtypes, and Natural History of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) vs non-TBI Recovery to Gain Military Advantage (the DISENTANGLE study) 
PI: S. McLean, Co-I: S. Linnstaedt 

2022-2023: Diversity Supplement to FKBP51 Antagonism to Prevent Chronic Pain: Optimizing Efficacy and Evaluating Safety and Mechanisms. 
NINDS – R01NS118563-01A1S1
PI: Linnstaedt 

2020-2025: FKBP51 Antagonism to Prevent Chronic Pain: Optimizing Efficacy and Evaluating Safety and Mechanisms
NINDS – R01NS118563
PI: S. Linnstaedt, Co-PI: S. McLean 

2020-2023: FKBP51 Inhibition to Prevent Chronic Pain Following Traumatic Stress
Rita Allen Award in Pain, Rita Allen Foundation
PI: S. Linnstaedt

2016-2022: Longitudinal Assessment of Post-Traumatic Syndromes 
NIMH – U01MH110925
PI: S. McLean, Co-I: S. Linnstaedt 

2018-2022: Key Molecular Mechanisms of Chronic Pain Vulnerability in Women Experiencing MVC. 
NIAMS – K01AR071504 
PI: S. Linnstaedt 

2014-2019: Supplement to “Influence of PTSD Symptoms on Chronic Pain Development after Sexual Assault
Mayday Fund
PIs: S. Linnstaedt and S. McLean 

2015-2016: MicroRNA Mechanisms Mediating Chronic Pain Development After Motor Vehicle Trauma
Future Leaders in Pain Grant, The American Pain Society.
PI: S. Linnstaedt 

2014-2015: MicroRNA as Mediators of Chronic Pain Development Following Motor Vehicle Collision
IBM Junior Faculty Development Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
PI: S. Linnstaedt

What honors have you received? 

2023-2024 Yang Family Biomedical Scholar
2023 NIH HEAL Director’s Trailblazer Award.
2020 Rita Allen Foundation Pain Scholar Award, Rita Allen Foundation.
2020 Best Poster Award from the UNC School of Medicine Center for Women’s Health Research
2018 Recognition of our work on the NIH Director’s Blog
2018 Federal Work Study Supervisor of the Year Award Nominee 
2015 Special Recognition from the Basic Science Shared Interest Group of the American Pain Society
2014 Future Leader in Pain Research Award, American Pain Society
2014 Top Abstract Award from the Pain Genetics Committee of the American Pain Society 
2011 Best Research and Oral Presentation, Center for AIDS Research Annual Retreat, Duke University
2008 Maengwyn-Davies Award, Most Outstanding PhD Thesis, Georgetown University 


Outside of the lab, I love photography, travel, cooking, baking, spending time with friends and most of all, spending time with family (which includes four kids and numerous pets!)