Addressing Two of the Nation's Greatest Public Health Challenges

UCSF Pain and Addiction Research Center (PARC)

PARC is a transdisciplinary research center focused on developing and testing new approaches for treating pain and addiction, decreasing the negative consequences of opioids, and developing effective ways to mitigate the impact of drugs of addiction.  It aims to provide a unified response to two major public health challenges:   

Chronic pain: a disabling condition that affects tens of millions of people in the US. Its impact on the health and well-being of the country is staggering, with a financial burden in excess of the costs of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. It is essential to have a more informed clinical team with innovative evidence-based therapies to manage the care of patients with intractable pain.

Addiction: Opioids play a crucial role in the management of acute (postoperative) and cancer pain, as well as end-of-life care.  Although helpful for selected patients, overprescription of opioids has the potential to lead to misuse, diversion, use of other drugs of abuse and overdose. We must find ways to reduce the addictive potential of analgesic medications.

Our Response

As pain and addiction are often intertwined, PARC is committed to responding to these challenges through the development of team science working groups, seminars, retreats, and international symposia that cross boundaries and unite clinicians and scientists for common goals. Our working groups are currently focused on addressing the treatment of patients with pain and opioid use disorder drawing from PARC members with expertise in five thematic areas:  Prevention and Treatment; Education; Disparities; Pediatrics; and Cancer Pain. Please consider joining PARC.      


Mark Schumacher, MD, PhD
Director, PARC


Christine Miaskowski, RN, PhD, FAAN
Co-Director, PARC