top of page
ABOUT the irc for crps

Founded in 2015, the International Research Consortium for CRPS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit limited membership organization that champions global collaboration among CRPS researchers, writes research protocols, and executes trials to achieve statistically relevant results to identify better diagnostics and treatments for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and RSDS.


To date, treatment trials for CRPS have generally been single-site pilot studies with small patient samples. By encouraging collaboration across multiple sites, we aim to increase sample size and improve the rigor and quality of CRPS-related studies to produce compelling research results.


With more than 100 individual members and 40 participating research sites around the world, our members are leaders in CRPS research, experienced and noted rising stars alike.  Together, they bring a wealth of experience and diversity in their approach to finding better treatments for those with CRPS. 

board of directors & STAFF

R. Norman Harden, MD

R. Norman Harden, MD, is Chairman of the Board. He is the founder of the RSD treatment program at the Medical University of South Carolina, and later served as the Director of the Center for Pain Studies and founder of the Chronic Pain Care Center at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is a professor of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences at Northwestern University and holds the Addison Chair in Pain.

Gary J. Bennett, PhD

Gary J. Bennett, PhD, is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. He earned a doctorate in Experimental Psychology from the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and was a Public Health Service Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health. For over 30 years his research has focused on neuropathic pain and its treatment.

Andreas Geobel

Andreas Geobel is Director of the Liverpool Pain Research Institute, supporting pain research in the northwest of the UK. He was appointed Consultant in Pain Medicine at the Liverpool Walton Centre in 2007. He is Reader (Associate Professor) in Pain Medicine at the University of Liverpool, UK Chair of the Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), and Chair of the European Pain Federation Task Force on CRPS.

Stephen Bruehl, PhD

Stephen Bruehl, PhD is a tenured Professor of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Health Psychology from the University of Kentucky. He was Principal investigator on eight research projects funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and is co-leader of the diagnostic criteria for CRPS (the Budapest Criteria).

Frank Huygen, MD

Frank Huygen, MD, PhD, is Professor in Pain Medicine in Erasmusmc, at the University Hospital of Rotterdam. He is director of the centre of pain medicine, a multidisciplinary pain clinic specializing in acute, chronic benign and oncologic pain and palliative care. Dr. Huygen is principal investigator of the Academic Centre of Pain Medicine (Erasmusmc ACE).

Candy McCabe

Candy McCabe is the Florence Nightingale Foundation Clinical Professor in Nursing at the University of the West of England, Bristol and RNHRD, Bath. Her research interests include understanding the mechanisms and potential therapies for those with chronic unexplained pain, especially Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and other neuropathic pain conditions and the relationship between the sensory and motor systems and pain and what part they play in the development and perpetuation of pain.

Lana Edwards Santoro, PhD

Lana Edwards Santoro, PhD, Secretary of the IRC Board, is a research associate, curriculum developer, and educational consultant in special education and literacy. She has taught pre-service teachers at the undergraduate and graduate level; consulted with state, local, and private agencies; and presented extensively about how to apply research-based, instructional strategies in the classroom. Dr. Santoro has firsthand experience with CRPS and knows the profound impact CRPS can have on life.

Peter Moskovitz, MD

Peter Moskovitz, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Washington, District of Columbia, is Chairman of the Board of RSDSA. Dr. Moskovitz earned a medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Frank Birklein

Frank Birklein is Clinical Professor at the Department of Neurology, and head of “Peripheral Nervous System and Pain” at the University Medical Centre Mainz, Germany. He is a past fellow of the Departments of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at University of Erlangen. He served as Vice President of the German Interdisciplinary Association of Pain Treatment.

Claudia Sommer, MD

Claudia Sommer, MD, is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Würzburg. She leads the Peripheral Nerve Laboratory, the Pain Research Laboratory, and organizes outpatient clinics for patients with neuropathies, neuropathic pain or headache. She is a board-certified neurologist and psychiatrist, having received training in psychiatry, neuropathology, experimental anesthesia, and neurology. She is the president of the German Pain Society and president-elect of the IASP.

Nicole Stagg, Executive Director

Nicole is the Executive Director of the IRC. Before joining the IRC, Stagg led marketing and communications for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management and consulted for several non-profit organizations including the Center for Effective Regulatory Policy and Safe Access (CERPSA) and TEDMED, among others. She is a well-known veteran of the digital industry, having spent 25+ years leading digital marketing and content development strategies for a variety of B2C and B2B companies.

PD Dr. Med. Florian Brunner, PhD

Florian Brunner MD, PhD is head of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rheumatology at Balgrist University Hospital and Professor at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His clinical interests include Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, spine conditions and manual medicine.

bottom of page