The Neurobiology of Pain and Itch Study Section (NPI) reviews research applications on the neurobiology of pain, analgesia and itch in animals and humans. Approaches include, but are not limited to, molecular biology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, imaging and psychophysics. The emphasis is on approaches to understanding normal sensory function and sensory pathology due to injury or disease.

Review Dates

Membership Panel

The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.


  • Mediation and modulation of nociception analgesia; itch and antipruritics. Discovery of novel pharmacological targets and treatments for pain and itch.
  • Analysis of the critical circuitry, both spinal and supraspinal, important in pain sensation.
  • Analgesics including opiates, non-opioids and other analgesics; mechanisms and clinical treatment approaches to tolerance and dependence on opioids and other drugs with abuse potential.
  • Endogenous pain modulatory systems (e.g., endogenous opiates and endocannabinoids).
  • Non-pharmacological approaches to pain treatment, including but not limited to, novel therapies, such as neurostimulation, and complementary and integrative approaches (e.g., behavioral interventions).
  • Interaction of pain and comorbid conditions, such as anxiety, depression, sleep and other contributory factors.
  • The role of the immune system and glia in pain and itch.
  • Somatosensation in the context of pain and itch.

Shared Interests and Overlaps

Applications involving human and/or clinical studies of pain that evaluate psychosocial factors, behavioral interventions and adjunct therapies, rehabilitation and patient outcomes may be reviewed by Biobehavioral Medicine and Health Outcomes – BMHO.

Applications involving human and/or animal studies of substance abuse, drug tolerance, and addiction may be reviewed by Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology (BRLE). Included also are studies of normal and abnormal behavioral development.

Applications related to the regulation of emotion and mood; influence of psychosocial factors in personality, affect and cognition; mechanisms of acute and chronic stress, and stress-reduction interventions may be reviewed by Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotion, Stress and Health (MESH).

Applications to investigate the genetics or epigenetics of pain, and applications focused on gene delivery methods may be reviewed by Molecular Neurogenetics (MNG).

Applications related to motivated behaviors, such as mediation of drug and other types of reward, mechanisms of tolerance, dependence, withdrawal, and sensitization may be reviewed by Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior (NMB).

Applications focused on spinal and supraspinal control of voluntary and autonomic motor function; vestibular system and proprioception studies; sensorimotor integration, such as extrapyramidal motor control are appropriately reviewed by Sensory-Motor Neuroscience (SMN) .

Somatosensation, when not focused on pain or itch, are more appropriate for Sensory-Motor Neuroscience (SMN) or Neuroscience of Interoception and Chemosensation (NIC).

There are shared interests with Surgery, Anesthesiology and Trauma (SAT) in the investigation of pain. Grant applications that focus on mechanisms of action and pharmacology of general and local anesthetics, and pain management, including general and local anesthesia, and anesthetic side effects may be assigned to SAT. Applications that focus on the molecular biology, anatomy, physiology, and psychophysics of pain and analgesia may be assigned to NPI.

There are shared interests in the neurobiology of pain with Molecular Cellular Neuropharmacology (MCNP). Applications that emphasize the neurobiology of pain, analgesia and itch are reviewed in NPI. Application that emphasize cellular and molecular mechanisms of substances used to treat these disorders are reviewed in MCNP.


Last updated: 05/13/2024 06:10