"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"

Battlefield Pain Management (BPM)


Our Task Area focuses on improving management of acute and chronic pain to improve duty performance and quality of life for military personnel and wounded warriors. Acute pain occurs as the result of an injury, while chronic pain can last over a long period of time and can be present even after the injury has healed. Our goals include identifying medicines for treating acute and chronic pain in the battlefield/remote locations; improving pain management from the battlefield to the hospital and through rehabilitation; identifying strategies to treat sources of pain; addressing psycho-social aspects of recovery; and developing knowledge and treatment strategies/therapies for treating pain and related illnesses. Our laboratory hosts multiple collaborative efforts between basic science researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and university investigators.


The goals of this area are to improve the quality of life for injured warfighters by improving pain control throughout their recovery period, eliminating PTSD and chronic pain development through controlling early acute pain, and evaluating new products for effective pain relief.


  • Developing models of pain and related illnesses.
  • Identifying target molecules that are responsible for pain in order to determine potential therapeutic and preventative countermeasures.
  • Discovering and exploring novel pain medicines for therapeutic efficacy.
  • Developing an alternative to morphine and fentanyl with minimal side effects for use on the battlefield.
  • Exploring pain treatments that do not include medications.


  • Model Development: Development of a burn pain model, inflammatory and neuropathic pain models, and trauma models encompassing physical and psychological stressors relevant to service members.
  • Basic: Mechanistic studies of anti-inflammatory molecules and peripheral opioid peptides for pain relieving activity with minimal side effects.
  • Preclinical: Ongoing evaluation of approximately 13 developmental novel drugs; investigation of the relationship between pain tolerance and substance abuse.
  • Clinical: Epidemiological and descriptive studies of pain medications in the field and in the hospital; investigation of the effects of anesthetics and analgesics on patient pain, quality of life, medication usage and return to duty rates.

Contact the Battlefield Pain Management Research Director, click here.


Fowler, M., Garza, T., Slater, S., Maani, C., McGhee, L. The Relationship between Pregabalin and Gabapentin on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Burned Servicemembers. Epub 2 Jan 2012, J Burn Care Res.

Maani, C., Shah, M., Hansen, J., Fowler, M., Maani, E., McGhee, L. Translational Advances in Pain and Anesthesia for Cancer Patients. J Surg Oncol. 2012;105:488–493.

Fowler, M., Slater, T., Garza, T., Maani, C., DeSocio, P., Hansen, J., McGhee, L. Relationships Between Early Acute Pain Scores, Autonomic Nervous System Function, and Injury Severity in Wounded Soliders. J. Trauma. 2011 July 71(1): S87-S90.

Maani CV, DeSocio PA, Jansen RK, Merrell JD, McGhee LL, Young A, Williams JF, Tyrell K, Jackson BA, Serio-Melvin ML, Blackbourne LH, Renz EM. Use of ultra rapid opioid detoxification in the treatment of US military burn casualties. J Trauma. 2011 Jul;71(1 Suppl):S114-9.

McGhee, L., Slater, T., Garza, T., Fowler, M., DeSocio, P., Maani, C. The relationship of early pain scores and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Burned Soldiers. J Burn Care Res. 2011 Jan-Feb;32(1):46-51.

McGhee LL, Maani CV, Garza TH, DeSocio PA, Gaylord KM, Black IH. The relationship of intravenous midazolam and posttraumatic stress disorder development in burned soldiers. J Trauma. 2009 Apr;66(4 Suppl):S186-90.

Maani CV, DeSocio PA, Holcomb JB. Coagulopathy in trauma patients: what are the main influence factors? Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2009 Apr;22(2):255-60.