Steering Committee

Dr. Jason McDougall

Prof. McDougall was born in South Shields and educated in Scotland. He received his PhD in Joint Physiology from the University of Glasgow and subsequently undertook postdoctoral training in Canada, Germany and Spain. Prof. McDougall was awarded postdoctoral fellowships from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), the Medical Research Council of Canada and was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Joint Injury & Arthritis Research Fellowship. In 2001 he joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary where he held an AHFMR Senior Scholarship as well as an Arthritis Society Investigator award. He transferred to Dalhousie University in 2011 where he is currently a Professor of Pharmacology and Anaesthesia.

Prof. McDougall’s research focuses on the neurobiology of pain and inflammation in the development of arthritis. His research is currently examining the role of cannabinoids and proteinases in the control of arthritis pain and inflammation. His research goal is to identify novel drug targets and develop new treatments which will help alleviate chronic pain and resolve joint inflammation. He currently receives project funding from CIHR, The Arthritis Society of Canada, and The Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. He is the Chief Scientific Officer for GenCanBio and has been a consultant for Antibe Pharmaceuticals (Canada), AstraZeneca (UK), Eli Lilly & Company (USA) and Pfizer (UK). Prof. McDougall is an editor for Inflammation Research and BMC Anaesthesiology as well as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee at the Arthritis Society. He has also won numerous awards for his homebrewed beers which have subsequently been commercially produced.

Tel: (902) 494-4066
Fax: (902) 494-1388
Email: Jason.McDougall@Dal.Ca
Twitter: @JasonJMcDougall

Dr. Allen Finley MD, FRCPC, FAAP

Dr. Finley is a pediatric anesthesiologist who has worked for almost 30 years in pain research and management. He is Professor of Anesthesia, Pain Management, & Perioperative Medicine at Dalhousie University, and is cross-appointed as Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience. He also holds the inaugural Dr. Stewart Wenning Chair in Pediatric Pain Management at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax and is Director of the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research. He has published over 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals ( and has lectured widely, with more than 300 invited presentations on six continents. He started the PEDIATRIC-PAIN e-mail discussion list in 1993, bringing together pain researchers and clinicians from over 40 countries. His own research and educational projects have taken him to Jordan, Thailand, China, Brazil, and elsewhere. His main interest is pain service development and advocacy for improved pain care for children around the world. To facilitate that, he is co-founder and Board Chair of the ChildKind International Initiative (

In 2016 he was elected to the Executive of the International Association for the Study of Pain as Treasurer and currently serves as Councilor, an exciting opportunity to be part of the promotion of pain science and pain care around the world. His current research work includes broad collaborations with colleagues at Dalhousie, U. of Ottawa, and elsewhere, including as co-PI of the CIHR SPOR Chronic Pain Network.

Dr. Finley is the Atlantic Canada Hub Lead for the Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) knowledge mobilization network:

Laura Gibson MA

Laura Gibson graduated with a BA in Political Science from McGill University (Montreal, QC), and has been awarded her Master’s degree in Political Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John’s, NL), where she specialized in health policy administration. Laura completed her training in healthcare administration at Carewest Innovative Healthcare (Calgary, AB) and has experience leading provincial health policy development for Alberta Health Services.

In her current role as the Atlantic Canada Hub (IWK Health Centre) Knowledge Broker with Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP), she uses knowledge translation/implementation science strategies to facilitate institutional change and promote alignment with best practice standards. Laura works with a national network of subject matter experts to address systemic barriers impacting the uptake of research findings in clinical practice settings and the community.

The Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) website:

Dr. Javeria Hashmi


After training in brain imaging and pain research for over a decade in some of the world’s leading institutions, including the University of Toronto, Northwestern and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Hashmi has joined Dalhousie University as a Canada Research Chair Tier II and Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management & Perioperative Medicine. Dr. Hashmi’s research focuses on applying computational methods firstly, to understand the brain mechanisms behind chronic pain and secondly to generate tools from brain imaging that can impact clinical management of chronic pain. Dr. Hashmi has adapted novel techniques such as graph theory, signal processing and machine learning to solve the complex and urgent topics related to functional brain imaging of pain and cognition including pain adaptation, sex differences, chronic pain etiology, placebo analgesia, anesthesia and development of brain networks. To observe brain function, Dr. Hashmi uses the complementary approaches of functional MRI and magnetoencephalography that allow navigation through complex properties of brain networks with high spatial and temporal resolution respectively. In upcoming research, Dr. Hashmi will build upon recent findings on predicting treatment outcomes with brain ‘connectomics’ and machine learning, and will apply this knowledge towards improving the lives of people suffering with chronic pain.

Twitter: @netphys1

Dr. Karim Mukhida


Dr. Mukhida is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine at Dalhousie University with a clinical practice focused on acute and chronic pain management and neuroanesthesia.

Originally from Halifax, he completed his MD and PhD at Dalhousie University. He was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and a resident in Neurosurgery and Anesthesia at the University of Toronto and Dalhousie. He joined the Faculty of Medicine after doing chronic pain fellowship training in Toronto and Halifax with the support of a Killam Post-graduate Scholarship.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Mukhida pursues research in pain management and the medical humanities. His research interests include those related to basic science (the use of stem cell therapies in the spinal cord to address pain conditions), medical education (the use of literature, art and film to teach medical students and residents), and work-wellness issues related to chronic pain (as developed during his MBA training in the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University).

His interest in medical education has led him to spend time in Nepal, Vietnam, and Rwanda participating in teaching initiatives with the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery and the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation.

Twitter: @kmukhida

Dr. Melanie Kelly

Dr. Kelly’s primary research expertise is molecular and functional pharmacology with a special interest in translational pharmacology and drug development in the cannabis/cannabinoid space. Dr. Kelly’s lab has research expertise in ocular and central nervous system pharmacology and therapeutics and examines use of drugs that target the endocannabinoid system for neurodegenerative disease and pain and inflammation.

Professor Kelly is also the Executive Director of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, a Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids Board Member and Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Panag Pharma Inc. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dr. Kelly’s primary research expertise is in translational pharmacology and drug discovery. Her research specifically addresses the pharmacology of the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis and cannabinoids can modify disease. She has published more than 100 publications in the area of pharmacology, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system and holds several patents in the area of cannabinoid drugs for therapeutic management of disease. Professor Kelly has participated in and developed curriculum in medicine and pharmacy at undergraduate and graduate levels as well as content for continuing medical education and postgraduate professional education. She contributes as an expert consultant to industry with regard to drug development in the cannabis/cannabinoid space and in the development of scientific material for public dissemination and knowledge translation. Dr. Kelly’s recent work has focused on development of new therapies to alleviate pain and inflammation. As one of the founders of a small drug company based in Halifax, she is working to leverage research discoveries into Health Canada approved medicines for those suffering from chronic neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Melissa O'Brien

Dr. O'Brien is a postdoctoral fellow in the Departments of Pharmacology and Anesthesia, Pain Management & Peroperative medicine.

Orginally from Newfoundland, Dr. O'Brien recieved a BSc in Chemistry from Memorial University before completing a MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia and a PhD in Pharmacology from Dalhousie University. Her research insterests include sex differences in pain and identifying novel treatments for chronic pain.

Nicole MacKenzie

Nicole is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University. Stemming from her research and volunteer experiences in pediatric health settings, her research interests include knowledge mobilization initiatives to improve access to evidence-based practices for children’s pain management. Her doctoral research is focused on understanding how best to support the needs of researchers, health professionals, and families when it comes to knowledge mobilization activities to promote the uptake of evidence-based practices to manage children’s pain.