Roger Fillingim

Roger Fillingim, Ph.D.Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science

Professor & Director, Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence

Phone: 352-273-5963


  • Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1990

Main Interests

My research investigates biological, social, and psychological factors that may influence the experience of pain. Pain is perhaps the most widespread and expensive health problem in the United States. My research uses standard psychophysical, or sensory testing, procedures to assess individual differences in responses to pain.

One major line of research in my laboratory focuses on how women and men experience pain differently. Women generally report more pain in daily life than men, and they also show lower pain thresholds. We are interested in understanding the reasons for these differences, which probably include psychosocial factors (e.g. mood, coping, sex roles) as well as physiological variables such as hormone levels and blood pressure. In addition, we are studying whether pain-relieving medications work differently for women and men. Specifically, we would like to identify genetic markers that are associated with analgesic responses, and whether there are different genetic markers of medication response in women versus men.

We are also investigating whether people from different ethnic and racial groups experience pain differently. Some evidence suggests that ethnic minorities may experience higher levels of pain and disability compared to whites. We are trying to determine whether ethnic differences in pain perception contribute to these differences in clinical pain. In this research, we are also exploring the contribution of sociocultural and psychological factors to ethnic differences in pain. We are also interested in the contribution of genetic factors.

We are also involved in a multicenter prospective cohort study designed to identify risk factors for development of orofacial pain. This study is called OPPERA (Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment), and more information can be found at: My research is primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Selected Publications

Fillingim, R.B. & Edwards, R.R. (2005). Is self-reported childhood abuse history associated with pain perception among healthy young women and men? Clinical Journal of Pain, 21, 387-397.

Fillingim, R.B., Hastie, B.A., Ness, T.J., Glover, T.L., Campbell, C.M., and Staud, R. (2005). Sex-related psychological predictors of baseline pain perception and analgesic responses to pentazocine. Biological Psychology, 69, 97-112.

Campbell, C.M., Edwards, R.R. & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Ethnic differences in responses to multiple experimental pain stimuli. Pain, 113, 20-26.

Fillingim, R.B., Ness, T.J., Glover, T.L., Campbell, C.M., Hastie, B.A., Price, D.D., and Staud, R. (2005). Morphine responses and experimental pain: sex differences in side effects and cardiovascular responses but not analgesia. Journal of Pain, 6: 116-124.

Edwards, R.R., Sarlani, E., Wesselmann, U. & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Quantitative assessment of experimental pain perception: multiple domains of clinical relevance. Pain, 114, 315-319.

Ness, T.J., Powell-Boone, T., Cannon, R., Lloyd, L.K. & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Psychophysical evidence of hypersensitivity in subjects with interstitial cystitis. Journal of Urology, 173, 1983-1987.

Fillingim, R.B., Kaplan, L., Staud, R., Ness, T.J., Glover, T.L., Campbell, C.M., Mogil, J.S., and Wallace, M.R. (2005). The a118g single nucleotide polymorphism of the µ-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) is associated with pressure pain sensitivity in humans. Journal of Pain, 6, 159-167.

Hastie, B.A., Riley, J.L.III, Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Ethnic differences and responses to pain in healthy young adults. Pain Medicine, 6, 61-71.

Edwards, R.R., Campbell, C.M. & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Catastrophizing and experimental pain sensitivity: only in-vivo reports of catastrophic cognitions correlate with pain responses. Journal of Pain, 6, 338-339.

Robinson, M.E., Dannecker, E.A., George, S.Z., Otis, J., Atchison, J.W. & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Sex differences in the associations among psychological factors and pain report: a novel psychophysical study of patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of Pain, 6, 463-470.

Mogil, J.S., Ritchie, J., Smith, S.B., Strasburg, K., Kaplan, L, Wallace, M.R., Romberg, R.R., Bijl, H., Sarton, E.Y., Fillingim, R.B., & Dahan, A (2005). Melanocortin-1 receptor gene variants affect pain and µ-opioid analgesia in mice and humans. Journal of Medical Genetics, 42, 583-587.

Hastie, B.A., Riley, J.L.III, Robinson, M.E., Glover, T.L., Campbell, C.M., Staud, R., & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Cluster analysis of multiple experimental pain modalities. Pain, 116, 227-237.

Powell-Boone, T., Ness, T.J., Cannon, R., Lloyd, L.K., Weigent, D.A., & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Menstrual cycle affects bladder sensation in subjects with interstitial cystitis. Journal of Urology, 74, 1832-1836.

Fillingim, R.B. & Price, D.D. (2005). What is controlled for in placebo-controlled trials? Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 80, 1119-1121.

Robinson, M.E., Brown, J.L., George, S.Z., Edwards, P.S., Atchison, J.T., Hirsh, A.T., Waxenberg, L.B., Wittmer, V., Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Multidimensional success criteria and expectations for treatment of chronic pain: the patient perspective. Pain Medicine, 6, 336-345.

Edwards, R.R. & Fillingim, R.B. (2005). Styles of coping predict cardiovascular function following a cold pressor test. Pain Research and Management, 10, 219-222.

George SZ, Wittmer VT, Fillingim RB, Robinson ME. (2006). Fear-avoidance beliefs and temporal summation of evoked thermal pain influence self-report of disability in patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 16, 92-105.

Ramachandruni, S., Fillingim, R.B., McGorray, S.P., Schmalfuss, C.M., Cooper, G.R., Schofield,R.S., & Sheps, D.S. (2006). Mental stress provokes ischemia in coronary artery disease subjects without exercise-or adenosine-induced ischemia. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 47, 987-991.

Staud, R., Price D.D. & Fillingim, R.B. (2006). Advanced continuous-contact heat pulse design for efficient temporal summation of second pain (windup). Journal of Pain, 7, 575-582.

Diatchenko L., Nackley A.G., Slade G., Fillingim R.B., Maixner W. (2006). Idiopathic sensory disorders – pathways of vulnerability. Pain, 123, 226-230.

Diatchenko L., Anderson, A.D., Slade G., Fillingim R.B., Shabalina, S.A.,Higgins, T., Sama, S., Belfer, I., Goldman, D., Max, M.B., Weir, B.S., & Maixner W. (2006). Three major haplotypes of the ß2 adrenergic receptor define psychological profile, blood pressure, and the risk for development of a common musculoskeletal pain disorder. American Journal of Medical Genetics B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 141, 449-462.

Eisenberg, E, Backonja, MM, Fillingim, RB, Pud, D, Hord, DE, King, GW, Stojanovic, MP (2006). Quantitative sensory testing for spinal cord stimulation in patients with chronic neuropathic pain. Pain Practice, 6, 161-165.

George S.Z., Wittmer V.T., Fillingim R.B., Robinson M.E. (2007). Sex and pain-related psychological variables are associated with thermal pain sensitivity for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of Pain, 8, 2-10.

George, SZ, Dover, GC, Fillingim, RB (2007). Fear of pain influences outcomes following exercise induced delayed onset muscle soreness at the shoulder. Clinical Journal of Pain, 23, 76-84.

Tegeder, I, Costigan, M, Griffin, RS, Abele, A,Belfer, I, Schmidt, H, Ehnert, C, Marian, C, Scholz, J, Wu, T, Allchorne, A, Diatchenko, L, Binshtok, A, Goldman, D, Adolph, J, Sama, S, Atlas, SJ, Carlezon, WA, Parsegian, A, Lotsch, J, Fillingim, RB, Maixner, W, Geisslinger, G, Max, MB, Woolf, CJ (2006). GTP-cyclohydrolase, the rate-limiting enzyme in tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis, regulates pain sensitivity and persistence. Nature Medicine, 12, 1269-77.

Edwards, R.R. & Fillingim, R.B. (2007). Self-reported pain sensitivity: lack of correlation with pain threshold and tolerance. European Journal of Pain.

Slade, G.D., Diatchenko, L., Bhalang, K., Sigurdsson, A., Fillingim, R.B., Belfer, I., Max, M.B., Goldman, D, Maixner, W. (in press). Influence of psychological factors on risk of TMD. Journal of Dental Research, 86, 1120-1125.

Rahim-Williams, F.B., Riley, J.L. III, Herrera, D., Campbell, C.M., Hastie, B.A. & Fillingim, R.B. (2007). Ethnic identity predicts experimental pain sensitivity in African Americans and Hispanics. Pain, 129, 177-184.

Hadjistavropoulos, T., Herr, K., Turk, D.C., Fine, P.G., Dworkin, R.H., Helme, R., Jackson, K., Parmelee, P.A., Rudy, T.E., Lynn Beattie, B., Chibnall, J.T., Craig, K.D., F, B., Ferrell, B., Fillingim, R.B., Gagliese, L., Gallagher, R., Gibson, S.J., Harrison, E.L., Katz, B., Keefe, F.J., Lieber, S.J., Lussier, D., Schmader, K.E., Tait, R.C. , Weiner, D.K., Williams, J. (2006). An interdisciplinary expert consensus statement on assessment of pain in older persons. Clinical Journal of Pain, 23 (Suppl. 1), S1-S43.

Sadigh, B., Berglund, M., Fillingim, R.B., Sheps, D., Sylven, C. (2007). Beta-endorphin modulates adenosine provoked chest pain in men, but not in women-a comparison between patients with ischemic heart disease and healthy volunteers. Clinical Journal of Pain, 23: 750-755.

Greenspan, J.D., Craft, R.M., LeResche, L., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Berkley, K.J., Fillingim, R.B., Gold, M. S., Holdcroft, A., Lautenbacher, S., Mayer, E. A., Mogil, J. S., Murphy, A. Z., & Traub, R. J.; The Consensus Working Group of the Sex, Gender, and Pain SIG of the IASP (2007). Studying sex and gender differences in pain and analgesia: A consensus report. Pain, 132S1, S26-S45.

York, K., Hassan, M., Li, Q., Li, H., Fillingim, R.B., & Sheps, D.S. (2007). CAD and depression: patients with more depressive symptoms have lower cardiovascular reactivity during laboratory induced mental stress. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69: 918-922.

Campbell, C.M., France, C.R., Robinson, M.E., Logan, H.L., Geffken, G.R. & Fillingim, R.B. (2008). Ethnic differences in the nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR), Pain, 134: 91-96

George S.Z., Wallace M.R., Wright T.W., Moser M.W., Greenfield, III W.H., Sack B.K., Herbstman D.M., Fillingim R.B. (2008). Evidence for a biopsychosocial influence on shoulder pain: pain catastrophizing and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) diplotype predict clinical pain ratings. Pain, 136: 53-61

Wang, C. Cheng, Y., Liu, T. Li, Q., Fillingim, R.B., Wallace, M.R., Staud, R., Kaplan, L. and Wu, R. (2008). A computational model for sex-specific genetic architecture of complex traits in humans: Implications for mapping pain sensitivity. Molecular Pain, 4:13.

Minor, V., Marris, C.K., McGorray, S.P., Yezierski, R.P., Fillingim, R., Logan, H., Wheeler, T.T. (in press). Effects of preoperative ibuprofen on post-separator placement pain. American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics.

Campbell, C.M., France, C.R., Robinson, M.E., Logan, H.L., Geffken, G.R. & Fillingim, R.B. (2008). Ethnic differences in diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC), Journal of Pain, 9: 759-766.

George S.Z., Dover G.C., Wallace M.R., Sack B.K., Herbstman D.M., Aydog E., Fillingim R.B. (in press). Biopsychosocial influence on exercise-induced delayed onset muscle soreness at the shoulder: pain catastrophizing and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) diplotype predict pain ratings. Clinical Journal of Pain.

Fillingim, R.B., Wallace, M.R., Herbstman, D.M., Ribeiro-Dasilva, M., & Staud, R. (in press). Genetic contributions to pain: a review of findings in humans. Oral Diseases.

Hassan, M., York, K.M., Li, Q.,Lucey, D.G., Fillingim, R.B. & Sheps, D.S. (2008). Variability of myocardial ischemic responses to mental versus exercise or adenosine stress in patients with coronary artery disease. J Nucl Cardiol, 15: 518-525.

Logan, H.L., Bartoshuk, L, Fillingim, R.B., Tomar, S.L. & Mendenhall, W.M. (in press). Metallic taste phantom predicts oral pain among 5-year survivors of head and neck cancer. Pain.

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