Director, Office of Pain Policy,
NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS)
Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience,
NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS)

Linda Porter, PhD directs the Office of Pain Policy at NINDS. In this capacity, Dr. Porter provides guidance and coordination of the NIH pain research programs through collaboration with the NIH Pain Consortium and supports the activities and programs of the consortium. She also serves as the Designated Federal Official for the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, an entity established through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to address issues relevant to the federal pain research portfolio.

Dr. Porter joined the NINDS in 2003 as a Program Director in Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience.

Dr. Porter received a B.Sc. in Physical Therapy from McGill University. Her clinical practice focused on developmental disabilities. She later earned a Ph.D. in neuroanatomy from Boston University School of Medicine. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University, she trained with Hiroshi Asanuma in neurophysiology of sensory-motor systems.

She was on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) for 15 years before joining the NINDS. During those years she directed an NIH funded research program aimed at elucidating mechanisms of sensory-motor integration at the cortical level.
She also studied the effects of various neuromodulators on developing cortical neurons and their neuroprotective influence over neurons in the mature cortex. She taught in the Graduate Neuroscience Program and the School of Medicine at USUHS.




  • 2017 John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award

The John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award honors outstanding contributions by an individual or an organization to the field of pain through public education, dissemination of information, public service, or other efforts to further knowledge about pain. The award is named for John Bonica, a leading force in the development of the pain treatment movement, and his wife, Emma.