Robert H. Dworkin received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD from Harvard University. He is Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Neurology, and Psychiatry and Professor in the Center for Health + Technology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Dr. Dworkin is Director of the Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTTION) public-private partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a Special Government Employee of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. He is an Associate Editor of Pain, and a member of the Editorial Boards of Canadian Journal of Pain and Journal of Pain. Dr. Dworkin received the American Pain Society’s Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award in 2005 and John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award in 2014, the Eastern Pain Association’s John J. Bonica Award in 2011 and Raymond Houde Lectureship Award in 2018, the American Academy of Neurology’s Mitchell B. Max Award for Neuropathic Pain in 2015, the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Founders Award in 2018, and the International Association for the Study of Pain’s John D. Loeser Award in 2020.
Dr. Dworkin’s major research interests are (1) methodologic aspects of analgesic clinical trials and (2) treatment and prevention of chronic and acute neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. The primary focus of his current research involves the identification of factors that increase the assay sensitivity of clinical trials to detect differences between an active and a placebo control or comparison treatment. In ongoing studies, he and his colleagues are examining the relationships between clinical trial results and their research designs, patient characteristics, statistical methods, and outcome measures. Dr. Dworkin has also been very interested in the identification of risk factors for the transition from acute to chronic pain. One of the major results of this program of research has been that patients with greater acute pain are more likely to develop chronic pain. This suggests that attenuating acute pain might prevent chronic pain, and an additional focus of his research has involved developing approaches to test this hypothesis.