About Us


Who we are


The Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary center where internationally-renowned clinicians and investigators conduct research on the mechanisms and most effective treatments of conditions that have chronic pain and fatigue as core symptoms.

We examine the role that the nervous system, brain and mind play in chronic pain and fatigue experience, and our goal is to continue this cutting-edge research and use its findings to:

  • Expand, support and continue multidisciplinary research in chronic pain and fatigue conditions at the University of Michigan
  • Improve the identification and diagnosis of chronic pain and fatigue
  • Develop interventions and treatments for the symptomatic components of these illnesses
  • Enhance the understanding of clinicians, researchers and patients in chronic pain and fatigue syndromes, including related illnesses that occur after exposure to stress and other life events
  • Develop programs that enhance the quality of life for patients suffering from these illnesses

What we believe

At present, there is no known cure for many of the chronic illnesses we study and we strongly believe that the success of current treatment(s) lies as much in the hands of the patient as it does in the hands of the health care provider. This philosophy is why we generally recommend an integrated approach to use inter-disciplinary teams of individuals who are working with the patient and using the most efficacious combinations of non-pharmacological, pharmacological, or procedural therapies.The reason our group is so passionate about our studies that focus on pain mechanisms is that we believe all chronic pain conditions have many underlying causes for their symptoms, and we can only offer effective treatment if we tailor our therapies towards the underlying causes of pain in each individual.

What we do

From mechanistic studies to clinical trials and the development of new models of care for chronic pain patients, the CPFRC uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine the role that central nervous system dysfunction plays in chronic pain and fatigue syndromes, and we extend those findings into the realm of treatment. Our primary focus is conducting research that leads to treatment programs which result in better overall management of these conditions.

How we do it

The CPFRC provides educational opportunities for patients and health care providers through this Website, participation in research studies, presentations at scientific and patient conferences, studies and articles published in peer-reviewed scientific and patient-advocacy journals.

Internally, we continue to educate ourselves by attending lectures given by faculty and researchers from our team, other U-M divisions and invited external speakers. In addition, we encourage junior faculty from U-M and elsewhere to become involved in this field.

How we are funded

We are devoted to maintaining a well-rounded portfolio of both scientific projects and sponsorship. We seek funding from a variety of sources so we can explore all aspects of these illnesses - development, mechanisms and treatment. Currently, our research funding is provided by federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health as well as industry sponsors. In addition, the University of Michigan provides a tremendous environment and source of support for our work.

Our history

The Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center was established in 1999 at Georgetown University to study overlapping conditions such as Gulf War Illness, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivity. In 2001 the Center moved to the University of Michigan and over the past decade has evolved into a comprehensive group of researchers who are interested in studying pain mechanisms, psychological co-morbidities and treatments (both innovative and gold standard).

Over the past few years, faculty at the CPFRC have developed numerous collaborations with faculty from various divisions and departments throughout the Medical School and the University, as well as outside of U-M, to facilitate the type of interdisciplinary team science encouraged by the U-M and governing bodies such as the NIH.

The CPFRC is particularly committed to training young investigators in this field of research. As such, the Center’s senior faculty members mentor many junior faculty to promote their development as researchers and clinicians.

From its depth of interdisciplinary research, education and training, the Center's faculty and staff are committed to being the leading program in scientific research in the mechanisms and treatments of chronic pain and fatigue syndromes. The development of multiple research projects and interdisciplinary productivity at Michigan attests to this commitment - a commitment that has resulted in research receiving national and international publicity.