International Neuromodulation Society Honors Two Giants of Neuromodulation

SYDNEY, NSW, AUSTRALIA, May 24, 2019 / — Persistent pain so profoundly affects patients’ day-to-day function, relationships, and quality of life it is no wonder that suffering is one of the most-dreaded aspects of a serious medical condition.

Dedicated, skillful work of leading pain physicians and researchers is helping clarify the disease process in chronic pain, and the therapeutic window of available and emerging treatments – including neuromodulation therapy as an option for some patients.

Due to their accomplishments in pain medicine and education, two esteemed physicians who have led much of that progress will be named a Giant of Neuromodulation during the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) 14th World Congress on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 in Sydney, Australia.

The award recognizes experts for lifetime contributions in science, publication, teaching and education, said INS President Robert Levy, MD, PhD. “Their work has underscored the four pillars of the INS: research, education, quality assurance/quality management, and patient access.”

“The development of the field of neuromodulation has been significantly impacted by these two giants’ commitment to tremendous research, teaching and patient safety which is now even more critical for non-drug therapy in the era of the opioid crisis,” commented INS Past President Timothy Deer, MD.

“Prof. Michael Cousins and Dr. Richard North were selected in the fifth such recognition to acknowledge their contributions that have improved quality of life for many people in chronic pain,” noted INS 14th World Congress Scientific Chair Marc Russo, MD. “Both proponents of evidence-based medicine, they have educated those within and outside of the field with their prolific, seminal publications, shaping how chronic pain is understood and treated.”

Prof. Michael Cousins is the only Australian and the first anesthetist after the founder, John J. Bonica, to serve as president of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). He played a major role in stimulating IASP to form an official relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) and place more emphasis on cancer pain and acute pain, in addition to chronic pain.

In Australia, Prof. Cousins was founding president of the Australian Pain Society, and chairman of the Joint Advisory Committee on Pain Medicine of several specialist colleges, which led to the formation of the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPMANZCA) in 1999.

He served as founding dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine at the University of Sydney, which is currently unique worldwide in bringing together five specialty bodies to oversee a single training program and examination for specialist qualification in pain medicine.

He called for chronic pain to be considered a disease in its own right, and has led seminal research in intrathecal therapy through work in neuromodulation that spans four decades.

Dr. Richard North has been instrumental in the development of the field of neuromodulation with a career spanning more than 30 years. He has had a prodigious scientific output of more than 80 papers, with his first paper in the field published in 1977. His seminal article on spinal cord stimulation versus re-operation provided the scientific underpinning of clinical practice and is one of the most quoted papers in the field.

At the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he directed the Neurosurgery Spine Service for 16 years and co-directed the Division of Functional Neurosurgery. He was professor of Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins for 10 years, and a member of the full-time faculty for 25.

The American Academy of Pain Medicine has recognized Dr. North’s research achievements and clinical expertise with the academy’s prestigious Founder’s Award, and the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Richard North has served in various roles on the boards of the INS and NANS for many years, and was president of NANS in 2004 – 2005. He has played a significant role in the INS journal, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface as an editorial board member, advisor, and author. Dr. North is also co-founder and president of The Neuromodulation Foundation, which is active in developing clinical trial designs and practice parameters, and produces WIKISTIM, a searchable website that displays the results of scientific research in the field of neuromodulation and encourages collaboration in the field.

Nancy Garcia
International Neuromodulation Society
+1 415-683-3237
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