Dr Sam Hughes
Lecturer in Human Neuroscience
School of Psychology (Faculty of Health)
Lecturer in Human Neuroscience
Head of the Pain Modulation Lab at the Brain Research and Imaging Centre (BRIC)
- BSc Pharmacology (1st class): University College London
- MRC funded 4 year PhD Studentship in Systems Neuroscience (pain research): University of Bristol
During my PhD I worked in the laboratories of Prof Bridget Lumb and Prof Tony Pickering to investigate changes in descending noradrenergic control during the development of neuropathic pain. I then completed two postdoctoral positions with Dr Paul Strutton in the musculoskeletal (MSK) Lab at Imperial College London, where I began to develop an independent line of research into the use of neurotechnology (e.g. neuromodulation and immersive virtual reality) to study the descending control of pain in human pain models. I then secured a research fellowship in Dr Matthew Howard's Lab at Kings College London to further explore the use of neuromodulation techniques in human pain models. In 2020 I joined the University of Plymouth as a Lecturer and I run the Pain Modulation Lab at the Brain Research and Imaging Centre (BRIC).
Faculty of Biomedical Sciences Commendation; awarded for PhD thesis; University of Bristol.
The Professor Anthony Mellows Medal; awarded for Research Fellowship proposal; Kings College London
Nominated for a Student Academic Choice Award (SACA); teaching and supervision excellence; Imperial College London
Nominated for a Student and Staff Teaching and Representation (SSTAR) award; personal tutor of the year; University of Plymouth
Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)
Roles on external bodies
Editorial board member for Frontiers in Pain Research (neuropathic pain section)
I teach on the following undergraduate modules:
Research in my lab involves investigating cortical influences over endogenous pain modulation systems and translating these findings into novel mechanism-driven therapeutics for chronic pain patients. Through collaborations with experts in a range of disciplines, I use a combination of psychophysics, neuroimaging and neurotechnology alongside human surrogate pain models with a view to harness activity within discrete cortically-driven analgesic pathways.
For more information see the Pain Modulation Lab page at BRIC.
- Dr Matt Howard (Kings College London)
- Dr Kirsty Bannister (Kings College London)
- Professor Ben Seymour (Oxford)
- Professor Valerie Sparkes (Cardiff)
- Professor Helen Dawes (Exeter)
- Dr Aleksandra Vuckovic (Glasgow)
- Dr Paul Strutton (Imperial College London)
- Dr Nir Grossman (Imperial College London)
- Dr Ines Violante (University of Surrey)
- Prof Thomas Graven-Nielsen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Grants & contracts
2022 – 2025: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Neurotechnology for Chronic Pain. £1,161,841.47 (Co-Investigator).
2022 – 2024: Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award. Virtually painless? Steps towards mechanism-driven use of immersive virtual reality for chronic pain. £98,156.00 (Principle Investigator).
2022 – 2023: The Pain Relief Foundation. The effects of non-invasive brain stimulation on chronic pain and central sensitisation in patients with radicular low-back pain (sciatica): a randomised, sham-controlled proof-of-principle study. £21,207. (Co-investigator)
2020 – 2024: Kings Prize/Anthony Mellow Fellowship. Harnessing endogenous analgesia with non-invasive deep brain stimulation. £148,601. (Principle Investigator).
Key publications are highlightedJournals