Led by Professor Sylvia Gustin and Professor James McAuley, NeuRA’s Centre for Pain IMPACT aims to improve the lives of individuals suffering from chronic pain through innovative, evidence-based research and education. It is dedicated to understanding the complex nature of chronic pain and developing novel approaches to its prevention, management, and ultimately, its cure.

The Centre strives to be a leader in the field of chronic pain research, collaborating with top scientists, healthcare professionals, and policy makers to advance our understanding of this debilitating condition. Its goal is to create a community of experts who are committed to finding solutions for those living with chronic pain, and to educate the public about the latest advances in the field.

By working together and leveraging the latest research and technology, our aim is to create a future in which individuals with chronic pain can live full, productive lives free from the daily struggles of this often-misunderstood condition.

Research focus areas

  • Neurobiological underpinnings of pain
  • Low back pain
  • New and innovative low back pain treatments
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Phantom Limb Pain
  • Chronic pain and mental health
  • Chronic pain and emotional recovery
  • Understanding chronic nerve pain, treatments and recovery
  • Neuropathic pain and Spinal Cord Injury
Why this research matters

A staggering one in five people experience chronic pain: an ongoing and often debilitating condition that can last from months to years. This persistent pain can impact many parts of a person’s life, with almost half of people with chronic pain also experiencing major anxiety and depression disorders and an alarming 20 per cent of people with chronic pain have considered suicide. Chronic pain remains minimally responsive to existing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment, highlighting an urgent need to develop new interventions.

The Centre for Pain IMPACT also aims to understand why some people with low back pain do not recover and develop chronic low back pain. Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, with more than 568 million people affected by it. Over a quarter of Australians report low back pain at any one time and it costs the Australian health system over $9 billion each year.


Anika Haigh

Research Assistant

Current research projects