This Week At PRICE

New Study on Race-Specific Associations with Chronic Low Back Pain


Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is a global health crisis. This certainly doesn’t mean it’s impartial. The number of non-Hispanic Black individuals impacted by cLBP is much higher than compared to individuals who identify as non-Hispanic White. Why the disparity?

In the article, ‘Race-specific associations: inflammatory mediators and chronic low back pain’, Larissa Strath, alongside researchers from Edwin Aroke’s lab at UAB – The University of Alabama at Birminghamas well as researchers at Washington University in St. Louis examined inflammatory markers in different racial groups and found intriguing associations.

It suggests that variations in these markers could contribute to differences in CLBP prevalence among racial populations. By understanding these associations, healthcare providers may develop more targeted treatments for CLBP based on a person’s racial background, potentially leading to more effective pain management strategies!

The article has been published in PAIN!

Spotlight: Melissa Makhoul


Today, we’d like to spotlight one of our postdoctoral research associates, Melissa Makhoul!

With a master’s degree and a PhD in Nursing Science from the American University of Beirut, Melissa Makhoul brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to PRICE as a registered nurse and postdoctoral research associate. Currently, Dr. Makhoul is working alongside Dr. Emily Bartley in the Assessment, Pain Intervention, & Resilience (ASPIRE) Lab, where they conduct groundbreaking research focused on understanding pain and resilience in patients undergoing knee and hip arthroplasty.

Inspired by the challenges of alleviating pain during their time as a nurse, Dr. Makhoul draws from their personal experiences as they work to uncover the keys to resilience and better pain outcomes!

Dr. Makhoul envisions a future in academia, where they’ll not only continue their research but also inspire and empower future generations of nurses. With a focus on fostering collaborative learning environments and delving deeper into the psychosocial aspects of pain.

Outside of the lab, Dr. Makhoul enjoys dancing, listening to music, and taking walks in nature!

Dr. Tamargo leads the Pain and Aging Journal Club


Dr. Javier Tamargo led the discussion at this month’s Pain and Aging Journal Club with the research article, ”The Natural History of Knee Osteoarthritis Pain Experience and Risk Profiles’ which covered a four year study considering intermittent and constant pain on a group of over 3584 participants. While the data collected during the study was impressive and provided insights on the diverse experiences of individuals with knee osteoarthritis, researchers are PRICE found opportunities within the study to improve the data gathered and suggested alternative methods and ideas that will assist in their future research and raise questions that newer members can ask when it comes to their own articles. Please join us next month for our next Pain and Aging Journal Club meeting!