Brain Mechanisms of Pain & Health

Director: Dr. Fadel Zeidan

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy

Department of Anesthesiology

Center for Integrative Medicine

Wake Forest School of Medicine

What We Do

The subjective experience of pain is multidimensional and is modulated and constructed by a constellation of interactions between sensory, cognitive, and affective factors, rendering the treatment of clinical pain challenging and often a financial burden. The central objective of our research is to identify the specific mechanisms supporting the cognitive regulation of pain and health.  We also are primarily focused on assessing the processes supporting cost-effective, non-pharmaocological approaches to pain relief such as mindfulness meditation.  We combine validated psychophysical, psychological, pharmacologic, and neuroimaging methodologies to best determine how cognitive techniques such as placebo, mindfulness meditation, expectations, beliefs, and other cognitive manipulations impact experimentally-induced and clinical pain.

News & Media Outreach

 Celebration dinner for completing our latest fMRI project, Grace's acceptance to graduate school, and Jenny joining our lab. 

Celebration dinner for completing our latest fMRI project, Grace's acceptance to graduate school, and Jenny joining our lab. 

  • August 2018: Congratulations to Grace Posey for her acceptance into graduate school! Good luck Grace! 
  • August 2018: Our new publication entitled "Brain mechanisms supporting the relationship between trait mindfulness and pain" is now in press in  PAIN
  • August 2018: Our new publication entitled "Placebo effects on the neurological pain signature" is now out in JAMA Neurology
  • July 2018: We are delighted to welcome our newest lab member and post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner!

Conference Talks...

  • September 11th, 2018: World Congress of Pain Satellite Symposia (Chronic Pain: The Science of Complementary and Integrative Health Approaches), Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
  • November 13th, 2018: Keynote Lecture, Pain In Child Health Conference (PICH2GO), Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
  • November 2018: International Symposia for Contemplative Research (Master Lecture) outside of Phoenix, Arizona



Dr. Zeidan's discussion with the Dalai Lama

Dr. Zeidan's TEDx Emory presentation

Dr. Zeidan's feature on Redesign My Brain

Dr. Zeidan's presentation at the 2014 NIH Research Consortium



  • November, 2016 ~ Fadel Zeidan was invited to personally present his research on mindfulness and pain to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at the 2016 International Conference on Science and Buddhism. (Video to the right.) 





  • February, 2016 ~ Fadel's TEDx EmoryTalk (video to the right), "A Different Approach to Pain Management: Mindfulness Meditation," at Emory University.






  • June, 2015 ~ Fadel briefly appeared on the Aussie TV series, Redesign My Brain, (video to the right).






  • May, 2014 ~ Fadel's 2014 Mitchell Max Award talk at the NIH.