The goal of the Center is to alleviate pain by increasing our understanding of the fundamental nature of chronic pain in patients and the mechanisms underlying chronic pain. The Center will translate insights gained in all areas into an improved ability to care for people. We cannot be certain where insights will arise, and we expect that each Section will make significant contributions. The advances in each Section will stimulate further work in other sections. For example, definition of unique patient populations will provide the impetus for studies of particular animal models of chronic pain. Studies in animals will stimulate use of particular pharmacological approaches in patients, and results of clinical trials will drive research to examine the mechanisms of action of treatments. Similarly, the synthesis of information necessary for educational activities will stimulate examinations of novel approaches in both research and treatment. For this reason, the Center will emphasize collaboration, communication and active synthesis of advances in all areas.