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Sean Mackey, MD, PhD

Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology,  Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Neurosciences and Neurology,  Stanford University

Program Committee

Dr. Sean Mackey, MD, PhD is Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine, Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Neurosciences and Neurology (by courtesy) and Director of the Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory (SNAPL) at Stanford University. Dr. Mackey received his BSE and MSE in Bioengineering from University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as MD from University of Arizona. Dr. Mackey is author of over 200 journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, and popular press pieces, in addition to numerous national and international lectures.

Under Dr. Mackey’s leadership, the Stanford Pain Management Center has been designated a Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society, one of only two centers to receive this honor twice. In 2011 he was a member of the Institutes of Medicine committee that issued the report on Relieving Pain in America. He is currently Co-Chair of the Oversight Committee for the NIH/Health and Human Services National Pain Strategy, an effort to establish a national health strategy for pain care, education and research.

Under Dr. Sean Mackey’s leadership, researchers at the Stanford Pain Management Center and the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory (SNAPL) have made major advances in the understanding of chronic pain as a disease in its own right, one that fundamentally alters the nervous system. Dr. Mackey has overseen efforts to map the specific brain and spinal cord regions that perceive and process pain, which has led to the development of a multidisciplinary treatment model that translates basic science research into innovative therapies to provide more effective, personalized treatments for patients with chronic pain.


  • Chronic Pain
  • Pain Management
  • Pain Medicine
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Back Pain
  • Acute Pain
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Facial Pain
  • Headache
  • Anesthesia


  • Applications of Realtime Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI ), Recruiting
  • Cardiovascular Outcomes Assessment of the MitraClip Percutaneous Therapy for Heart Failure Patients With Functional Mitral Regurgitation (The COAPT Trial),


  • Low-Dose Naltrexone for the Treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Recruiting
  • Single Session Pain Catastrophizing Treatment: Comparative Efficacy & Mechanisms, Recruiting
  • Stanford Center for Back Pain, Recruiting