Wesselmann LabThe Wesselmann Lab is led by Ursula Wesselmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Wesselmann has a long-standing interest in the neurobiological mechanisms of chronic pain syndromes in women. She is a clinical neurologist and experimental neuro-physiologist with sub-specialty training in pain management. Over the last 20 years NIH-funded studies in her translational research laboratory have focused on the common theme of (1) elucidating peripheral and central pain mechanisms via neurophysiological, neuroanatomical and psychophysical paradigms in health and disease, specifically in females and (2) phenotyping subgroups of patients with pain syndromes based on different pathophysiological mechanisms, with the goal of identifying novel treatment strategies for these different phenotypes based on the underlying pathophysiology. Her current research, in collaboration with Dr. P. Czakanski (Depts. of Anesthesiology and Obstetrics & Gynecology), focuses on neurophysiological, psychosocial and autonomic factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of chronic urological (interstitial cystitis) and gynecological (vulvodynia) pain syndromes in women. A new area of research investigation is to determine the biological, psychological, and socio-cultural variables contributing to pain and pain-related disability in women treated for breast cancer. The long-term goal of her research program is to translate new discoveries into clinical practices that improve the ability to diagnose and treat women experiencing chronic pain.