McMaster University

Michael G. DeGroote
Institute for Pain Research
and Care

Scope of Search


Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care (IPRC)



An International Resource

Pain is central to many medical conditions and ailments, and has a tremendous impact on quality of life, health care costs and economic productivity. However, the causes of pain, and pathways to new and more effective therapies, are still shrouded in mystery.

As a result of the DeGroote family gift, a world-class institute has been created at McMaster University to focus the clear, piercing light of science and medicine on this age-old problem. Encompassing an array of technologies, disciplines and specialties, the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care (IPRC) is exploring the causes of a number of different types of pain, developing new strategies for its prevention, diagnosis and management, and innovative care for patients.

The institute places a special emphasis is on thalamic pain. This type of pain is centred in the thalamus of the brain and may cause sufferers to experience numerous forms of discomfort. Michael DeGroote himself has suffered from a severe form of thalamic pain after experiencing a stroke.

The institute's medical director is respected clinician Dr. Akbar Panju, chief of the Department of Medicine of the Hamilton Health Sciences hospitals. Scientific director of the institute is Dr. Norm Buckley, Professor, Department of Anesthesia. Dr. Buckley is also director of the associated Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre. The National Pain Centre draws on McMaster's expertise in evidence-based medicine to develop guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain, complementing the clinical and basic research arms of the institute.




  • Canadian Pain Task Force - At the Canadian Pain Society 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced the establishment of the Canadian Pain Task Force.

    The eight-member Task Force includes advocates who have lived experience with chronic pain, as well as researchers and health providers who have experience preventing and managing pain. In addition to the Task Force itself, an External Advisory Panel was formed to provide advice and information on certain elements of the Task Force’s mandate. Four members of the Task Force and four members of the Advisory Panel also have ties to the Canadian Pain Care Forum and its continued work towards a National Pain Strategy. The MGD Institute for Pain Research and Care's own scientific director, Dr. Norm Buckley, was asked and has accepted a position on the Panel.

    The Panel has already met with the Task Force once and looks forward to continuing to provide valuable input to help address this issue.  


  • Developing a National Pain Strategy for Canada – The McMaster Health Forum convened a stakeholder dialogue, December 14, 2017, on the subject of developing a national pain strategy for Canada.  With the support of the Institute for Pain Research and Care, in the context of support for the Chronic Pain Network, which is part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR), the dialogue brought together 24 participants from across Canada to examine the problem, elements of a comprehensive approach for addressing it, and key implementation considerations.  To read the overview, evidence brief and dialogue summary visit the McMaster Health Forum website:

  • Drs. Jason Busse and James MacKillop co-lead a new research centre, the multidisciplinary Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research.  (Nov 7 2017)
  • The North American Pain School (NAPS) will accept applications for 2018 beginning December 15th. Registration deadline is February 15 for the June 24-28, 2018 event. This is a unique educational and networking experience for the next generation of basic science and clinical pain researchers.

    The Chronic Pain Network has recently launched their new website -
  • The SPOR Chronic Pain Network led by Dr. Norm Buckley was awarded $12.5 million from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) under Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) .  Dr. Buckley, Scientific Director for the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care will bring national teams together to carry out laboratory and clinical research studies to identify new treatments to manage and prevent chronic pain.  Patients and professionals will be trained to work together.  Training programs will develop new researchers and support education for healthcare professionals about pain and its treatment.  A network of pain clinics across the country will support large scale studies of pain treatment and ensure that new knowledge is quickly moved into practice.  The SPOR Chronic Pain Network will be a patient-centred project that engages patients as partners, focusing on patient-identified priorities to improve their health outcomes, identify new treatments, and deliver a more effective health care system to Canadians.  See the official announcement by Canada’s Health Minister here

  • McMaster Pain Institute has created a website for pain sufferers to get reliable information, rate treatments and sign up for research studies. The on-line resource PainHQ is desgined to help people who live with pain.
  • The new Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic opened its doors at McMaster University Health Sciences. It is an adult outpatient clinic that will be one of the largest interdisciplinary pain programs in Canada.