AACHEN, Germany, December 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of pain (EFIC) and the pharmaceutical company Grunenthal awarded the EFIC-Grunenthal Grant to five young European scientists. The grant will provide financial support for their future projects in innovative, exploratory clinical and human experimental pain research. This year's projects will investigate factors contributing to the development of neuropathic pain, the role of the hormone oxytocin in placebo analgesia and aspects of pain in children and newborns. Grunenthal donates a total of EUR 100,000 for the grant which will be divided between the five winners.

We are glad that we have once again received many interesting research proposals from young pain researchers across Europe, said Professor Giustino Varrassi, President of EFIC. As we have seen with previous research supported by the EFIC-Grunenthal Grant, the five projects we have chosen this year will contribute valuable insights and help the medical community achieve a better understanding of pain. Pain is a condition affecting the everyday lives of millions of people worldwide and also poses a huge economic burden for societies. Understanding the mechanisms of pain is crucial to improving treatment in pain patients.

Winners and Projects 2009

The decision on the winners was entirely made by the EFIC Sub-Committee on Research, which decided to support the following five young researchers with EUR 20,000 each:

Luana Colloca (Italy): Oxytocin and placebo effect

Luana Colloca from the University of Turin will receive funding for her research on placebo effect and the role of oxytocin as a biochemical mediator of placebo analgesia.

Elspeth Hutton (UK): Neuroimmune cutaneous interactions in the genesis of chronic neuropathic pain

Elspeth Hutton from the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, London is being recognised for her research on the role of skin neuroimmune interactions in the genesis of chronic neuropathic pain.

Rebeccah Slater (UK): Measuring pain in the human infant brain

Rebeccah Slater from University College London is focusing on measuring pain in the deeper structures of human infant brain and investigates how the infant brain is activated by noxious stimulation.

Tine Vervoort (Belgium): Pain demands the attention of others: Parental detection, interpretation and responses to their child's pain

Tine Vervoort from Ghent University will investigate determinants of parental attention to and interpretation of their child's pain and how this influences their behaviour.

Gunnar Wasner (Germany): Role of nociceptive afferents in neuropathic pain

Gunnar Wasner from the University of Kiel will focus on whether lesions in different afferent nociceptors might influence the development of neuropathic pain.

At Grunenthal we know that it is all about innovative ideas and the passion to move forward. With our long-term experience in pain therapy, we are dedicated to being a leading company in terms of developing new therapeutic agents in pain treatment, explained Wolfgang Becker, Member of the Executive Board of Grunenthal GmbH. With the EFIC-Grunenthal Grant we hope to drive innovative ideas and encourage passionate researchers who are working for a better understanding of pain. We wish the winners all the best for their projects and are looking forward to learning more about the results of their research.

Further information on the EFIC-Grunenthal Grant, including this year's winners and projects, is available at http://www.e-g-g.info. A digital press kit including photos from the award ceremony is accessible online at http://www.grunenthal.com/press.

About EFIC

The European Federation of IASP(R) Chapters (EFIC(R)) is a multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain science and medicine, made up of over 34 European Chapters of IASP(R). Established in 1993, by Professor Ulf Lindblom, EFIC's constituent chapters represent close to 20,000 scientists, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals across Europe, who study pain and treat patients in pain. http://www.efic.org

About Grunenthal

Grunenthal is passionate about being the preferred global partner in pain management for patients, health care professionals and payors. The corporation drives innovation to expand European market leadership in moderate to severe pain. Grunenthal is an independent, family-owned German corporation with companies in 34 countries all over the world. Founded in 1946, the corporation employs 2,000 people in Germany and 5,200 worldwide. In 2008, Grunenthal achieved revenues of about 864 million Euros. More information: http://www.grunenthal.com

Contacts: Grunenthal GmbH Dr Nicole Foellmer Phone: +49-241-569-2858 Fax: +49-241-569-52858 nicole.foellmer@grunenthal.com Hering Schuppener Healthcare Bjoern Haertel Phone: +49-40-36-80-75-21 Fax: +49-40-36-80-75-99 bhaertel@hs-healthcare.de

Current press materials are available in the press section at http://www.grunenthal.com.

SOURCE: Grunenthal GmbH

CONTACT: Contacts: Grunenthal GmbH, Dr Nicole Foellmer, Phone:+49-241-569-2858, Fax: +49-241-569-52858, nicole.foellmer@grunenthal.com;Hering Schuppener Healthcare, Bjoern Haertel, Phone: +49-40-36-80-75-21,Fax: +49-40-36-80-75-99, bhaertel@hs-healthcare.de