Toronto is home to one of the largest networks of researchers in pain worldwide. The U of T Centre for the Study of Pain brings our pain community together. The Centre was established over 20 years ago and has been highly successful in making pain a priority at the University and across the academic hospitals.


Co-Directors’ Message

Pain is a universal phenomenon that health professionals across all disciplines encounter in individuals at all ages, in all health care settings, and across all situations. We are at a critical juncture where research of pain mechanisms and pain management strategies require effective translation to ensure optimal outcomes for individuals who suffer from pain. We believe that the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain will play an important role in linking researchers and clinicians through education. We are extremely proud to be an integral part of this interfaculty centre and look forward to fulfilling the vision of building a strong and internationally focused centre addressing the research to practice gap.

Co-Directors, Drs. Rob Bonin and Rachael Bosma

Rachael Bosma


profile photo

Robert Bonin


Our 5-Year Strategic Plan

Building upon a solid base of strength and achievement that has been established over the last two decades, the strategic plan informs and supports the work of the University of Toronto Center for the Study of Pain (UTCSP) over five years (2021/22 – 2026/27).

Core Values


The vision of the UTCSP is to be a key academic voice and a leader, both nationally and internationally, in pain research and education.


The mission of the UTCSP is to create and disseminate knowledge on pain and inform clinical excellence through interdisciplinary collaboration.


  • Foster research and scholarship leading to an understanding of the mechanisms of pain and its alleviation
  • Link research and education in pain so as to effect the dissemination and application of new knowledge in pain
  • Develop, implement, and support coordinated educational programs in pain at undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels
  • Foster a multi-disciplinary approach in clinical research activities in pain, including collaboration between basic and clinical science
  • Develop and provide continuing education programs for health care providers aimed at the dissemination of information derived from research and clinical evidence.

History of the UTCSP

By: Barry Sessle

The University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain (UTCSP) was established in 1999 as a pioneering initiative in interprofessional pain research and education through the collaboration and leadership of the Faculties of Dentistry, Medicine, and Nursing (with the Faculty of Pharmacy joining the collaboration in 2000).  The development of this coordinated network of pain research and education at the University of Toronto had the overarching goal for a Centre that produces new knowledge about pain mechanisms and management, and translates that knowledge into education for researchers and practitioners.

The funding of UTCSP comes principally from the University of Toronto budget and has included ongoing support since 1999 for the salaries of numerous pain scientists and administrative staff and much of the Centre’s educational and other programs such as UTCSP Trainee research and travel awards, administrative activities and scientific meetings.

Over the past 25 years, the UTCSP has steadily grown and now encompasses 91 regular members, 175 trainee members, and 20 associate members across the various health science programs at the University and its teaching hospitals. Since its inception, the UTCSP has served as a prototype of an academically based pain educational and research centre that has been emulated in universities in numerous countries around the world, and its national and international reputation has continued to grow through its increased visibility and the collaborations among its members.

Scientific and educational outreach activities linking trainees, researchers, and clinicians have been well established integral components of the UTCSP, and include an interfaculty pain curriculum, annual scientific meeting, seminar and symposium series, and a summer pain school (The Summer Institute in Pain).

Learn more