Dr Lauren Heathcote has received the 2022 Ulf Lindblom Young Investigator Prize for Clinical Science from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), making her the first woman from the UK to receive this international accolade. The prize, awarded every two years since 1987, honours early career researchers who have achieved a high level of independence as an outstanding scholar in the field of pain in clinical science.
Dr Heathcote is Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology in the Psychology Department. The award recognised her for her early work with the development of novel experimental and self-report tools to define the cognitive and affective mechanisms that drive the perception of pain as threatening.
I am honoured to receive this award from the International Association for the Study of Pain. As a new faculty member at the IoPPN, I feel lucky to have joined an institution with a prestigious history and current research focus on pain science. I look forward to conducting innovative research with my new basic and clinical science colleagues to better understand the biopsychosocial mechanisms and impact of pain in diverse patient populations.– Dr Lauren Heathcote
Dr. Heathcote’s work explores how the perception of bodily threat shapes clinical outcomes in young people living with chronic conditions such as persistent pain and cancer. She is establishing a new research group within the Health Psychology Section at the IoPPN, which will study how our psychology influences the experience, nature, and impact of pain across the lifespan, particularly within the context of acute and chronic illness.
To date, Dr Heathcote has studied pain and symptom perception in diverse patient populations such as children with chronic musculoskeletal pain, and childhood and adult cancer survivors. She is currently recruiting new members of her team, with a particular research focus on the development of brief, psychologically-wise interventions aiming to de-threaten pain and physical symptoms to improve emotional and physical functioning in medical populations.
Dr Heathcote will receive her award and present her research at the IASP 2022 World Congress on Pain in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from 19-23 September 2022.
The IASP is the leading global organization supporting the study and practice of pain and pain relief. IASP brings together scientists, clinicians, health care providers, and policymakers from around the world in pursuit of their mission to bring relief to those who are in pain.