Join our research team

Our NIH funded laboratory has developed new methods for identifying the cause of pelvic pain conditions. We utilize fMRI, ultrasonography and EEG to determine the causes of menstrual and bladder pain. Despite the high prevalence of dysmenorrhea (40-70% of American women), the fundamental biological causes remain unknown. A critical subset of these women suffering from menstrual pain do not respond to conventional treatments (such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDS]), and may be at further risk for developing chronic bladder pain, resulting in billions of dollars in lost productivity. A more complete model of the underlying mechanisms is urgently needed to guide drug discovery in dysmenorrhea. Our research program has focused on a key gap in this model: the role of uterine and neurological factors that contribute to pain severity. Our participants are also undergoing longitudinal trials to test the effects of treatments for menstrual pain.

Opportunities for students:

We have already obtained fMRI, Ultrasound, and EEG recordings prospectively from substantially characterized women with dysmenorrhea and painful bladder syndrome. Students will have an opportunity to analyze the role of individual factors in dysmenorrhea and painful bladder syndrome from this dataset. Our projects provide an opportunity for learning approaches towards merging clinical and basic research. Students performing research in our laboratory will also learn many fundamental principles of pain medicine and gynecology.

Interested in joining the research team or collaborating with us?

Please contact Kevin Hellman at

We look forward to hearing from you!