Meaghan C. Creed, PhD, and Jordan G. McCall, PhD, both assistant professors in anesthesiology, have been named to the 2019 class of Rita Allen Foundation Scholars. The foundation chose 10 young leaders whose research in biomedical sciences holds promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health. Each scholar receives a grant of up to $110,000 annually for as long as five years. For Creed and McCall, those funds will support work on how the brain responds to pain.
Creed will use support from the foundation to investigate how prolonged pain can alter brain circuits, studying how brain regions that process pain-causing stimuli communicate with neurons that regulate emotional processing and motivation. The work will focus on how the activity of those circuits can change in response to chronic pain.
McCall’s work is based at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, a collaboration between St. Louis College of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine. He studies the neural underpinnings of emotional distress associated with stress, chronic pain and addiction. McCall will use support from the foundation to find ways to identify stress and pain in rodents without having to disturb their daily routines.
Since 1976, the Rita Allen Foundation has invested in more than 175 biomedical scientists in the early stages of their careers. Those scholars have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, the National Medal of Science and the Wolf Prize in Medicine, among other honors.