Dr. Sam McLean speaking at the Staglin Music Festival September 2017.

2019

Nature.comWhy the sexes don’t feel pain the same way

After decades of assuming that pain processing is equivalent in all sexes, scientists are finding that different biological pathways can produce an ‘ouch!’.

Wall Street Journal –  A New Prognosis for Pain Care

At the University of North Carolina, researchers have found that people with certain genetic variants are more likely to have chronic pain after exposure to trauma, such as sexual assault and motor-vehicle crashes. This article highlights work by Drs. Sarah Linnsteadt and Samuel McLean.

Carolina StoriesThe Scholar’s Success featuring Lauren Gullett

Lauren Gullett, UNC class of 2020, is a Chancellor’s Science Scholar and volunteer at the Institute for Trauma Recovery.

2018

UNC Vital SignsResearchers receive $5 million to expand study of posttraumatic neurologic, mental health disorders
Led by Samuel McLean, MD, UNC School of Medicine researchers and collaborators received $5 million from the NIH and Department of Defense to expanding the AURORA Study, the most comprehensive longitudinal study of trauma survivors ever performed.

NIH Director’s BlogResearchers Elucidate Role of Stress Gene in Chronic Pain
Dr. Francis Collins discusses Drs. Samuel McLean and Sarah Linnsteadt’s recent article in the Journal of Neuroscience on his NIH Director’s Blog.

Daily MailGene mutation makes people suffer chronic pain traumatic injury
UK publication discussing a recent article entitled, “A functional riboSNitch in the 3’UTR of FKBP5 alters microRNA-320a binding efficiency and mediates vulnerability to chronic posttraumatic pain”.

NIH News in HealthDealing With Trauma – Recovering From Frightening Events
Dr. Farris Tuma and Dr. Samuel McLean discuss the AURORA project and the goal of uncovering the biology behind brain changes and looking for ways to prevent and treat PTS.

Vital SignsLinnstaedt awarded NIH Career Development Grant to study sex differences in vulnerability to posttraumatic chronic pain
Sarah D. Linnstaedt, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, has been awarded a K01 Career Development Grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) of the National Institutes of Health. This grant will enable her lab to study the biological and psychosocial mechanisms leading to increased chronic pain burden in women vs men following trauma/stress exposure.

NY TimesHow Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health
The AURORA project is mentioned in an article discussing an emerging field, digital phenotyping, attempting to assess people’s well-being based on their interactions with digital devices.

One Mind“Hope for the Brain Health of Trauma Survivors: Dr. Sam McLean”.
One Mind President Brandon Staglin and Dr. Sam McLean for a talk about the meaning of research to prevent brain illnesses that can arise from trauma, such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, pain, or post-traumatic stress.

2017

Business Wire“Staglin Family Announces Over 280 Million Dollars Raised to Date”.
Samuel McLean, MD, spoke on how the scientific and medical communities can better understand disabling brain changes that occur in response to traumatic events.

Pain Research Forum“Young Investigator Spotlight: Sarah Linnstaedt”.

National Insitute of Mental Health, Science News“NIMH-Funded Study to Track the Effects of Trauma”.

Verily“Researching post-traumatic conditions with Study Watch”.
Verily to join UNC and Harvard-led AURORA study with Verily’s investigational study watch.

PBS NewsHour“Can science make diagnosing PTSD less of an ordeal?”.
Dr. Samuel McLean speaks about the importance to advance the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress.

UNC Health Care“UNC leads first-of-its-kind, $21-million study of posttraumatic brain disorders”.

UNC Health Care – Newsroom“UNC teams with Verily Life Sciences to study trauma recovery”.
The Verily Study Watch will help researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and across the country collect first-in-kind data to better understand and diagnose adverse brain outcomes after trauma.

Carolina Alumni Review“UNC Will Take Lead In Major PTS Study”.

Radio In Vivo“Trauma and Chronic Pain”.
Dr. Samuel McLean is interviewed regarding trauma and chronic pain.

2016

The Scientist Magazine“Blocking a Stress-Related Gene Relieves Chronic Pain”.

Dr. Samuel McLean is interviewed regarding a previous publication by the research group.

2015

EurekAlert!-“Gene variants involved in stress responses affect ‘post-concussive’ symptoms”.

Variations in a gene that affect the body’s responses to stress influence the risk of developing post-concussive symptoms (PCS) after car crashes.

Becker’s Hospital Review-highlight of our research in “100 Great Hospitals in America 2015”.

2014

Reuters Health“Stress might influence development of chronic pain.

BodyinMind.org“No man is an island”.

Living in a disadvantaged neighborhood influences chronic pain development after motor vehicle collision.

Medpage Today“Treat Car Crash Pain Early On, Lest It Linger.

Medpage Today“BMI Predicts Neck Pain After Car Crash.

The risk of neck pain 6 months after a car crash is increased if the injured person is obese. At 1 year, the risk for neck pain among morbidly obese patients was still 1.4-fold greater than for people with normal weight (RR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.9).

US News & World ReportMost Crash Victims Don’t Plan to Sue: Study
Dr. Samuel McLean discusses findings that indicate only 17 percent of drivers with pain in the neck or other body region contact a lawyer within the first 6 weeks following a motor vehicle collision. The study is published in the January 17th edition of PAIN.

Practical Pain Management – Does Emotional Recovery After Accidents Influence Chronic Pain?

Dr. Samuel McLean and first author Jackie Nichols discuss research results linking emotional and psychological state with recovery time after a motor vehicle accident. This study was presented by Nichols at the American Pain Society 2014 Annual Meeting, Tampa, FL, April 30-May 3, 2014.

Medpage Today – BMI Predicts Neck Pain After Car Crash

Ana Bermudez discusses findings in relation to BMI and neck pain for overweight individuals 6 weeks to 1 year after a motor vehicle accident. Referenced from “Obesity increases the risk of persistent moderate or severe neck pain 6 months after motor vehicle collision” APS 2014; Abstract 235.

Medpage Today – Treat Car Crash Pain Early On, Lest It Linger

June Hu discusses research pertaining to widespread pain being treated early on as opposed to waiting for pain to resolve itself. Originally referenced from “Most widespread pain present 1 year after motor vehicle collision (MVC) begins in the early aftermath of the MVC: Results of a multicenter prospective cohort study” which Hu presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Pain Society 2014 in Tampa, FL.

UNC School of Medicine Newsroom – UNC Researchers Selected for Highly Competitive Grant in Geriatric Medicine

Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills helped obtain funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine for The Center for Aging and Health/ Division of Geriatric Medicine. Platts-Mills will help lead the selected project which will develop and test a brief patient-oriented educational video to improve outcomes for older adults with musculoskeletal pain.

2013

NPR “The State of Things” Interview 

Click here to play audio

Dr. Samuel McLean discusses new discoveries in chronic pain on the NPR radio show “The State of Things”.  Joining Dr. McLean is Mrs. Hortense Jacobs, a patient in the UNC Department of Anesthesiology Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic.

Newswise Persistent Pain After Stressful Events May Have a Neurobiological Basis

Dr. Samuel McLean discusses findings that indicate that mechanisms influencing chronic pain development may be related to the stress response, rather than any specific injury caused by the traumatic event

Medscape Persistent Pain After Sexual Assault Often Untreated
Dr. Samuel McLean discusses the lack of medical treatment for pain after sexual assault. Results are from a pilot study of sexual assault survivors.

2012

UNC Newsroom – Acute severe pain is common in sexual assault survivors in the early post-assault period, but rarely treated

Dr. Samuel McLean discusses his “first of its kind” study on pain after sexual assault. Research results show that out of women who report severe pain at the initial evaluation, only 13 percent received pain medication.

Medical News Today – Severe Pain Not Treated in Victims of Sexual Assault

Dr. Samuel McLean discusses that despite the fact that the majority of women presenting to emergency departments for care after sexual assault experience severe pain, very few receive pain treatment.

Health Magazine – Pain Level After Car Crash Could Depend on Your Genes, Studies Say

Dr. Samuel McLean discusses early new research that suggests the amount and severity of pain that you experience after an automobile accident may depend on your genes. Research is from two studies based on data collected from 948 adult car accident victims.

2011

NY Times Disparities: In the E.R., the Elderly Get Less Pain Relief

Dr. Platts-Mills, a faculty member in the TRYUMPH Research Program and Emergency Medicine physician at UNC, describes evidence that elderly individuals are significantly less likely to receive pain medication in a 7-year nationwide study of emergency room patient data.

Vital Signs – UNC Investigators receive 3.5 million dollar NIH grant to perform first ever prospective study of chronic pain development in African Americans

A multidisciplinary team of UNC investigators has received a 5-year grant to examine genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors contributing to chronic pain development in 1000 African Americans who present to the emergency department for care after motor vehicle collision.

Anesthesiology News – Opioid Gene Variants Linked to Cancer Survival in Women

Dr. Andrey Bortsov explains an association found between the opioid receptor gene polymorphism A118G and breast cancer survival in a population-based study of 2039 women.

USA Today – One in 20 patients will contract a serious hospital infection

Dr. Tina Willis shows how a simple, inexpensive infection control adopted in U.S. hospitals may reduce thousands of preventable deaths and save billions of dollars.