IASP Awards David Hohenschurz-Schmidt With the Ronald Dubner Research Prize


The University College of Osteopathy is proud to announce that their very own alumnus and current research staff member Dr David Hohenschurz-Schmidt has been awarded the prestigious Ronald Dubner Research Prize by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).  

Pictured here with his PhD supervisors Professor Andrew Rice (Imperial College London) and Dr Jerry Draper-Rodi (UCO), David’s Award honours the best research paper, series of papers or doctoral thesis in the field of pain by a student, pre-doctoral fellow, post-doctoral fellow, or equivalent. The Prize is only given out every 2 years and means that David will be able to present his work at a plenary lecture in front of about 3,000 delegates at the IASP world congress in Amsterdam in August this year.  

David received the Prize to honour his research produced during his PhD at Imperial College London, awarded in July 2023. He worked hard to study current methods in clinical trials of nonpharmacological therapies, such as physical and psychological interventions. He also led two projects with research experts and other stakeholders to develop guidance for better clinical trial methods in this area. In particular, he addressed how to design ‘placebo’ control interventions for therapies such as manual therapies, physiotherapy, or psychotherapy – a problem that has held back the field for a long time. 

By spearheading the development of the so-called CoPPS statement, which was published in one of the five leading medical journals in the world, the BMJ, he and his team set a new standard in the field. Secondly, David guided another team to develop guidance on so-called ‘pragmatic’ trials, where rigorous research methods need to be balanced with replicating the messiness of clinical practice in order to produce results that aim to directly inform clinical decision-making. This was published in the journal PAIN, with another article out soon. Finally, David applied himself to developing and testing new treatment options for people living with painful diabetic neuropathy, breaking new ground in osteopathy and beyond. 

You can read about this ongoing project, hosted at UCO, HERE.  

David says: “I’m very happy about this award. It shows that research on non-pharmacological treatments is valued highly by key institutions such as the IASP, and that improving research methods is an important contribution.”  

Highlighting the collaborative nature about his research endeavours, David also holds that “none of this would have been possible without the dozens of research collaborators, from junior colleagues, clinicians, and patient partners to renown research experts. I’m especially grateful to Steve Vogel, Dr Jerry Draper-Rodi, and Charles Hunt from UCO who created this unique opportunity for an osteopath to do a PhD at Imperial College, and to Jerry and Prof Rice for their unwavering support as supervisors.”  

David currently works as an Associate Researcher at the Imperial College Pain Research Group and as Senior Research Fellow at the University College of Osteopathy. 

You can find a full list of David’s research on his professional webpage and read about the Ronald Dubner Prize HERE.  

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