Persistent visceral pain disorders affecting the gastrointestinal and urogenital tract are common, disproportionally affect women, have a considerable effect on health related quality of life and result in excessive health care utilization. The NIH Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) in Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health aims to develop novel insight into the pathophysiology of these common disorders, in particular into sex related differences in underlying mechanisms, in order to develop more cost effective therapies.

The Center is funded by a SCOR grant from the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) as well as several individual NIH grants, with a total operating budget of close to $ 4M. In addition to the research arm of the SCOR, several faculty members see patients with a wide range of persistent pain disorders of the gastrointestinal and urinary tract. It is the only interdisciplinary and translational research and clinical program focused on a better understanding and better treatment of some of the most common persistent pain disorders in the country.

Mission: To advance the science, practice and teaching of mind brain visceral interactions, focusing on women’s health and sex-related differences through interdisciplinary translational approaches, with the ultimate goal of improving the treatment of patients with functional visceral pain disorders.

Disease areas: Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other functional GI disorders; Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome; Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial cystitis; Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Director: EA Mayer
Co-Directors: L Chang, B Naliboff, Y Tache

Key investigators: H Pothoulakis, S Bradesi, L Rodriguez, K Tillisch, J Labus, D Holschneider, L Birder, M Fanselow, A Rapkin


UCLA Interactions: CURE, UCLA IBD Center, Dpts of Psychology, Pediatrics OB-GYN, UCLA/VAGLAHS Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE)