Join Our Team

Multiple funded postdoctoral positions are available in the Washington University Pain Center (WUPC) in the department of Anesthesiology.  WUPC labs study the neurobiological basis and treatment of pain syndromes and co-morbidities. The WUPC is highly collaborative and translational; basic and clinical  labs regularly interact through lab meetings, retreats and journal clubs.

WUPC investigators span the departments of neuroscience, psychology, biomedical engineering, surgery, neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry.  This ensures that projects are highly collaborative and that post-doctoral fellows are integrated into the broader WashU community.  Post-docs will have access to world-class core facilities for in vivo and ex vivo imaging, viral vector design and production, transgenic mouse creation, genetic sequencing and analysis, behavioral analysis, and in vivo optogenetic modulation of neural circuits, as well as state-of-the art clinical research facilities .

St. Louis offers an affordable quality of life and supportive, dynamic post-doc community.  Starting salaries are pegged to the NIH scale and post-doctoral employees receive a competitive benefits package.  Details about research projects can be found by contacting the investigators below.


Al-Hasani – Our lab uses multidisciplinary approaches to understand the negative affective behaviors associated with the withdrawal phase of addiction and the interaction of endogenous opioid systems with opioid analgesics.  Approaches include optogenetic manipulation of neural circuits, genetic dissection of opioid receptor signaling and developing novel techniques for detecting endogenous peptide release in vivo. The Al-Hasani lab is located in the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.


Cao – Research in Cao lab focuses on studying how changes of ion channel activities and neuro-immune interactions contribute to migraine pathophysiology as well as on identifying novel targets to treat migraine and other trigeminal pain.  To this end, we employ multidisciplinary approaches including electrophysiology, time-lapse imaging, anatomical tracing, single neuron profiling, mouse genetics and behavioral assessment of pain.


Creed – Our research investigates how chronic pain and withdrawal from addictive drugs alters synaptic plasticity and circuit function within the basal ganglia. We achieve this goal using molecular genetics, behavioral pharmacology as well as in vivo and patch clamp pharmacology integrated with optogenetics and fluorescent biosensors. By understanding how these functional adaptations drive behavioral symptoms, we aim to develop treatments for co-morbid chronic pain and substance use disorders.


Gereau –Our lab performs studies across the translational spectrum to understand mechanisms that underlie the development of chronic pain conditions, and develop new treatment. Preclinical models use state-of-the-art imaging, RNA sequencing, optogenetic and electrophysiological approaches to understand the molecular, cellular, and circuit basis of maladaptive plasticity leading to the development of chronic pain. Translational approaches with human tissues are used to understand how animal studies might translate to human pain conditions, and early stage clinical trials test potential new treatments in human subjects.


Haroutounian – Our clinical and translational research ranges from observational and retrospective studies to mechanistic and interventional randomized controlled trials. Our main focus in on persistent post-surgical pain, neuropathic pain conditions such as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, and central-post-stroke pain, as well as low back and joint pain. We carefully phenotype and genotype our patients to develop mechanism-based approaches for the prevention and the treatment of chronic pain.


McCall – The goal of our research is to better understand the neural mechanisms underlying the emotional dysregulation associated with stress, chronic pain, and addiction – with the explicit goal of using this knowledge to make more effective treatments for these disorders. In large part, these goals will be achieved by developing new technology to interface with the mammalian nervous system and through partnerships with engineers, mathematicians, and clinician.


Moron-Concepcion – Our lab aims to understand the neuroplasticity that occurs upon chronic opioid administration that  may drive relapse to drug  seeking. In addition, we are interested in examining the mechanisms underlying pain-induced alterations in opioid seeking behavior (Hipolito, 2015 J Neurosci) and negative affect (Massaly, 2019 Neuron).