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Predoctoral Training

Recober Lab membersCoursework

Didactic curriculum is largely dictated by the student's graduate program. Students may become part of the Pain Research Program through either departmental graduate programs, interdisciplinary graduate programs, Biosciences Program (an interdisciplinary entry program) or dual degree programs such as the Medical Scientist Training Program.

Coursework in addition to requirements from the various graduate programs include:

Topics in Pain and Analgesia

This seminar/journal club-based course meets weekly during the fall and spring semesters. During the course, all predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees will rotate in the selection and presentation of a piece of scientific literature. Presenters will give a brief synopsis of why they chose the paper for presentation, presentation of the paper and data contained within as well as lead a group discussion of the paper.

Occasionally the journal club is replaced by with a faculty presentation of a proposed grant submission. Faculty will present specific aims of the proposal and obtain feedback from other faculty members. Trainees attend to gain experience and exposure to the proposal critique process.

Every four to six weeks trainees attend an external seminar series hosted by the program featuring nationally recognized scientists. Students are then able to meet with the speaker for a discussion on research, career experiences, etc.

SeminarMechanisms in Pain Transmission

This course coordinated by Kathleen Sluka, PhD, is the combination of three, one-semester hour modules:

  • Introduction to Pain: Overviews, Theories, Concepts and Mechanisms
  • Clinical Connections: Syndromes and Management
  • Molecular, Cellular and Neural Mechanisms of Pain

Work-in-Progress Meetings

Predoctoral trainees are required to present the results of their research to date at Work-in-Progress Meetings, which occur twice a month and are attended by faculty and trainees. Presentations rotate among the Pain Research Program Laboratories. Students are able to gain valuable feedback regarding their research projects as well as receive advice and offers for future help. These meetings help foster a collaborative atmosphere amongst trainees and faculty while providing students experience in presenting research and fielding questions.
Midwest Pain Interest Group Meeting

Predoctoral trainees are encouraged to attend the Midwest Pain Interest Group meeting. The 1.5 day retreat draws students and faculty from institutions across the midwest and features a poster session, student presentations and a seminar by an invited guest.