Spotlights Entries

Entry DateJanuary 10, 2021
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NameBurel Goodin
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2. Tell us about your current program of research and/or activities and projects that you are currently involved in.

In my Biobehavioral Pain Research Laboratory, we utilize a social neuroscience framework to help guide our understanding of the mechanisms that drive pain disparities. For instance, work by our group has previously demonstrated that experiences of racial discrimination are associated with altered central nervous system processing of noxious stimuli in African Americans with painful knee osteoarthritis. Relatedly, we have recently shown that high levels of internalized health — related stigma promote depression and inflammatory cytokine proliferation in persons living with HIV and chronic pain. Ultimately, the goal of our research is to increase awareness of the influence of social factors on pain physiology and perception. This knowledge may encourage other researchers, clinicians, and policy makers to consider how social factors affect pain and move beyond a view of disparities in pain experience s as intractable or inevitable.

4. Where do you see your career going in the future? What are your goals and aspirations?

I really enjoy providing mentorship and helping young trainees and faculty in their progression towards independence. For this reason I have been actively seeking out leadership positions that allow me to focus more on this aspect of the academic enterprise. I never thought I would say it, but I think I would be willing to entertain the possibility of holding a leadership position in administration (e.g., Dean, Vice President) if it allowed me to further my efforts in mentorship and faculty development.

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5. Tell us something fun that you do in your spare time or any hobbies that you enjoy.

I really enjoy nature and being outdoors. I am an avid hunter and fisherman. Recently I have been considering whether to purchase a farm as a long-term investment for my family. Not only could it be used for hunting and fishing, but it could also be passed down the generations to my children and beyond. Just an idea I am tinkering with right now.

3. Tell us about how you got involved in pain and/or aging research. Was there a moment that inspired you?

I was inspired to study and better understand pain while playing football in college. In response to an injury sustained during a game, my teammate might not report any pain. Once the game was over, however, there was substantial pain. Similarly, two teammates might sustain the same type of injury. While one teammate misses substantial playing time due to pain and prolonged recovery, the other teammate does not miss any playing time. Once I got to graduate school and started working on my PhD, my focus was on individual differences in the experience of pain. I attribute much of this study and focus to my initial experiences playing football.