The mission of the Cleveland Clinic Consortium for Pain (C3P) is to foster collaboration between clinicians and researchers aimed at developing, testing and validating novel technologies and methods to diagnose and treat chronic pain.

Pain involves our mind as well as our bodies. That’s why Cleveland Clinic founded the Cleveland Clinic Consortium for Pain (C3P) – to bring together research expertise to address pain as a physical, neurological, mental and emotional condition.

C3P is a coalition of researchers and clinicians at Cleveland Clinic who share a common interest in pain research and treatment. Members affiliated with Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and clinical departments, as well as Case Western Reserve University and MetroHealth collaborate in a “team-science approach” to investigate all facets of pain.

Research in the Saab lab encompasses hypothesis-driven and data-driven scientific discovery leading to translational research. Guided by the scientific premise that sensory and emotional states are governed by neural circuits, the main goal is to elucidate and map these circuits with unprecedented cellular specificity and temporal resolution, using multidisciplinary research tools such as optogenetics, self-report behavioral paradigms, and high-density (>200 units) neural recordings in vivo across the spine-brain continuum. Basic science discoveries are then translated to biomedical applications in collaboration with healthcare partners using non-invasive brain imaging and machine learning.

In other words …

Chronic pain is one of the most widespread, costly and disabling health conditions in the United States. Musculoskeletal pain is the most common type of chronic pain, and chronic low back pain is highly prevalent in this category, with healthcare costs estimated at $100 billion annually. Our research is based on emerging scientific findings showing that pain is mediated by brain activity. Therefore, our main goal is to define the brain networks mediating pain. Our strategy is to reduce scientific theory to clinical practice using non-invasive brain imaging and big data analytics, thus enabling accurate classification and assessment of patients with pain, and providing healthcare professionals the opportunity for earlier interventions to prevent long-term pain, disability and opioid use.


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Cleveland FES Center

Founder, Director, Cleveland Clinic Consortium for Pain (C3P)
Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute


Program Contact
Carl Saab

Contact Email


Research Associate
Bihua Bie

Research Data Scientist 
Samer Ghosn

Predoctoral Fellow 
Ki-Soo Jeong

PhD Candidate 
Shehryar Sheikh

Sindi Cullhaj

Undergraduate Research Student 
Lily Hebert

Undergraduate Research Student 
Aditya Roy

Undergraduate Research Student 
Ashwin Saraswatula