Robert Gereau, PhD receives 2017 Frederick W.L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award

This award and lectureship were established in 1987 in honor of Frederick W. L. Kerr, a founder of the American Pain Society, to recognize individual excellence and achievement in pain scholarship. Since then, the Kerr medallion has been presented to 25 outstanding pain professionals—researchers and clinicians—whose career achievements have made important contributions to the field of pain.

Dr. Gereau is the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor of Anesthesiology, and serves as Director of the Washington University Pain Center. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University, and a PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University (1995). Following postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute (1998), he took a faculty position in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, serving as Assistant and Associate Professor until 2004, when he was recruited to Washington University School of Medicine.

Gereau’s laboratory utilizes a combination of electrophysiology, optogenetics, and molecular approaches to understand mechanisms of maladaptive plasticity underlying the development of chronic pain. These studies include development of new enabling technologies for wireless measurement and manipulation of neural function. The lab also conducts translational research, including comparative studies of human and animal physiology, as well as healthy human volunteer studies aimed at establishing proof of concept for novel therapies. Dr. Gereau’s work has been supported by the NIH for over 20 years, including an NIH SPARC Award and the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award.

Dr. Gereau has served on the scientific program committee and as a member of the Board of Directors for APS for several years. He has also served as reviewing editor for Journal of Neuroscience, as Associate editor for Pain, and on the Editorial boards of Pain Reports, Molecular Pain, Neurobiology of Pain, and Journal of Neurophysiology. He served as member or chair of multiple NIH review panels, and serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors for NIDCR.