• Man exercising outside with people. (c) UC Davis Regents. All rights reserved.

About us

Every aspect of the human experience is affected by pain. Understanding and treating pain involves integrating disparate areas of science, humanities, policy, health care and more. However, our institutions for higher learning and health gravitate to silos and fragmentation. Despite the enormous economic and emotional burden on patients, their families and society, treatment remains inadequate and rarely addresses the sources of pain. All too often these treatments are both temporary and addicting. No single institution has stepped up to mount an effective response — until now.

Leveraging its world-class health and research facilities and tradition of collaboration, UC Davis leads the way with the Center for Advancing Pain Relief. The center is a first-of-its-kind center for education, research, clinical care and policy, committed to breaking down silos with the bold mission of transforming pain care. By creating a network of faculty researchers, educators, clinicians and policymakers, we develop personalized, integrated and comprehensive pain management therapies, reach national consensus and provide policy guidance for California and beyond. Together, we can dramatically impact the quality of life for pain sufferers.

Our beginnings

The center was founded by Scott Fishman, a physician and professor of anesthesiology and chief of the UC Davis Division of Pain Medicine, and Heather M. Young, professor and founding dean emerita for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.

Read our case statement

Key areas of research

The center concentrates its efforts on three key areas that were prioritized in the National Pain Strategy by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Institute of Medicine. Those key areas include:

Research and clinical care

Catalyze multidisciplinary partnerships to conduct cutting-edge research and advance transformative pain treatments.


Train current and future health professionals to delivery person-centered care that is safe, effective and more affordable.


Unite researchers, educators and clinicians with policymakers to develop pain management therapies, reach national consensus and provide policy guidance in California and beyond.