Dr. Mieke Soens’ research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms that drive the transition from acute pain after surgery to persistent postsurgical pain. More specifically, Dr. Soens is interested in the role of immune responses in the development of chronic pain. Dr Soens is at the interface of preclinical and translational research and has expertise in murine model systems in addition to clinical trials. Her research applies advanced analytical approaches such as LC-MSMS and metabolo-lipidomics to investigate the role of immune modulators including specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) in the resolution of pain after surgery. SPMs are a superfamily of novel mediators that are biosynthesized from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Their production is required for the resolution of acute inflammation and return of the tissue to homeostasis. SPMs also have potent analgesic actions in several murine pain models, and Dr. Soens hypothesizes that the loss of endogenous SPM mediated resolution responses leads to persistent postsurgical pain. Using chemistry (LC-MSMS), in addition to biochemistry (ELISA), she assesses circulating markers of inflammation and inflammation-resolution in patients undergoing thoracic surgery. Dr. Soens’ goal is to bridge the gulf between mechanistic preclinical model driven studies and prospective clinical trials using novel insights on the modulation of pain by the immune system to create meaningful impacts on the practice of pain medicine. Dr. Soens’ research is supported by the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER).