Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., is the director of the Brain Mechanisms of Pain and Health Laboratory at Wake Forest School of Medicine. For the last sixteen years, his research has focused on identifying the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness-induced pain relief. He is not necessarily focused on determining if mindfulness meditation reduces pain (it does) but specifically how mindfulness modulates the subjective experience of pain. His lab combines functional neuroimaging, pharmacologic antagonism, and psychophsyics to disentangle the active processes supporting mindfulness.
To date, Zeidan and his team have identified the brain mechanisms involved in mindfulness-induced pain relief, revealed that mindfulness meditation engages distinct neural processes to reduce pain from placebo and sham-mindfulness meditation, and recently discovered that mindfulness-based analgesia does not employ the body’s endogenous opioid system to reduce pain. He is currently sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, is a K99/R00 scholar and was awarded the 2014 Mitchell Max Award for Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health for his work on mindfulness meditation and pain.