Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D.

Pain specialist, Anesthesiologist

Redlich Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Neurology at the Stanford University Medical Center
Bio:   Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D, is Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Neurosciences and Neurology at Stanford University. He is the Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Dr. Mackey received his BSE and MSE in Bioengineering from University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as MD from University of Arizona. Dr. Mackey is author of over 200 journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, and popular press pieces in addition to numerous national and international lectures.

Under Dr. Mackey’s leadership, the Stanford Pain Management Center has been designated a Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society, one of only two centers to receive this honor twice. In 2011 he was a member of the Institutes of Medicine committee that issued the report on Relieving Pain in America. He is currently Co-Chair of the Oversight Committee for the NIH/Health and Human Services National Pain Strategy, an effort to establish a national health strategy for pain care, education and research.

Under Dr. Sean Mackey’s leadership, researchers at the Stanford Pain Management Center and the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory (SNAPL) have made major advances in the understanding of chronic pain as a disease in its own right, one that fundamentally alters the nervous system. Dr. Mackey has overseen efforts to map the specific brain and spinal cord regions that perceive and process pain, which has led to the development of a multidisciplinary treatment model that translates basic science research into innovative therapies to provide more effective, personalized treatments for patients with chronic pain.

Pain Management Center

  • 450 Broadway Street
  • Pavilion A, 1st Floor
  • Redwood City, CA 94063
  • Phone: 650-723-6238
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Professional Education

  • Internship: Tucson Hospitals Med Ed Prog (1995) AZ
  • Medical Education: University of Arizona (1994) AZ
  • Residency: Stanford University School of Medicine (1998) CA
  • Fellowship: Stanford University School of Medicine (1999) CA
  • Board Certification: Pain Management, American Board of Anesthesiology (2000)
  • Board Certification: Anesthesia, American Board of Anesthesiology (1999)
  • M.D., University of Arizona, Medicine (1994)
  • Ph.D., University of Arizona, Electrical Engineering (1994)
  • M.S.E, University of Pennsylvania, Bioengineering (1986)
  • B.S.E., University of Pennsylvania, Bioengineering (1986)

Honors & Awards

  • Characterization & Optimization of RF Catheter Ablation for the Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias, American Heart Association Fellowship (1990-1991)
  • TV Catheter Delivery of Elec Energy to Ablate Arrhythmogenic Tissue..., Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society Research Fellowship (1991-1992)
  • Optimal Control of Transvenous Catheter Ablation in the Treatment of Tachyarrhythmias, NIH Short Term Research Fellowship (1989-1994)
  • Electrical and Thermal Characterization of Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation, American College of Cardiology Research Grant (1994)
  • Cognitive Neurosciences Grant, Clark Center for Bioengeneering, Biomedicine & Bioscience (2000)
  • Top Doctors in America, Published in "Guide to Top Doctors" (2002)
  • Teacher of the Month, Stanford Department of Anesthesia (2003)
  • Dodie and John Rosekrans Pain Research Endowment Fund, Dodie and John Rosekrans Pain Research Endowment Fund (2001 - forever)
  • Interventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Applied to Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Stanford University (1999-2003)
  • Processing of Pain in the Human Central Nervous System: Analysis through fMRI, Stanford Office of Technology Licensing Grant (2001-2004)
  • Use of NMDA-Antagonists and Opiates in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia, Oxnard Foundation (2001-2004)
  • Applications of Real Time fMRI, NIH R43MH067290 (2002-2004)
  • Imaging Neural Systems in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Foundation for Anesthesia Education & Research (2004-2006)
  • Development of a Human Neuropathic Pain Model, Stanford University (1999-2007)
  • Fellowship Grant, Arthritis Foundation (2006-2007)
  • Applications of Real Time fMRI-Phase II, NIH R44 NS050642 (2004-2007)
  • Mechanisms of Analgesic Response During IV Lidocaine Infusion in Neuropathic Pain Patients, Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (2007-2008)
  • Duloxetine: Functional MRI Neural Correlates of Efficacy in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain, Eli Lilly (2006-2009)
  • Low-Dose Naltrexone in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia, American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association (2008-2009)
  • Mechanisms of Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia in Pain Patients: Examination via fMRI, NIH K99/R00 DA023609 (2007-2011)
  • Prescription Opioid Use, Misuse, and Pain in Post-Surgical Patients, NIH K23 DA25152 (2008-2013)
  • Development and Applications of Real Time fMRI Technology, Stanford Bio-X (2009-2010)
  • Central Mechanisms of Urologic Pelvic Pain: Functional and Structural Analysis by MRI, NIH U01 DK082316 (2008-2013)
  • fMRI of Pain in the Human Spinal Cord, NIH R01 NS053961 (2006-2010)
  • Ellis Cohen Achievement Award, Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University (2010)
  • Learned Control of Frontal and Limbic Systems via Real-Time fMRI, NIH R21 DA026092 (2009-2011)
  • Chris Redlich Endowment in Pain Research, Chris Redlich Endowment Fund (2009-forever)
  • Neuroimaging and Mentoring in Translational Pain Research, NIH K24 DA029262 (2010-2015)
  • Stanford CAM Center for Chronic Back Pain Supplement, NIH P01 AT006651S1 (2011-2012)
  • Stanford CAM Center for Chronic Back Pain, NIH P01 AT006651 (2011-2016)
  • Clinical Center of Excellence, American Pain Society (2012)
  • U.S. News and World Report Top 1% of Pain Management Specialists, U.S. News and World Report (2012)
  • NIH Directors Award, National Institutes of Health (2015)
  • Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award, American Pain Society (2016)

Administrative Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Anesthesia & Pain Management, Neurosciences, Stanford University (1999 - 2007)
  • Director (and Co-Founder), Regional Anesthesia Services (2000 - 2006)
  • Director, Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab (SNAPL) (2002 - Present)
  • Associate Director, Pain Management Division, Stanford University (2004 - 2007)
  • Co-Director, Stanford Pain Research and Clinical Center (SPARCC) (2004 - Present)
  • Co-Director, Pain Working Group, Neuroscience Institute, Stanford University (2005 - Present)
  • Associate Professor, Anesthesia & Pain Management, Neurosciences and (by courtesy) Neurology, Stanford University (2007 - 2012)
  • Chief, Division of Pain Medicine, Stanford University (2007 - Present)
  • Fellowship Program Director, Pain Medicine, Stanford University (2007 - Present)
  • Redlich Professor, Anesthesia & Pain Management, Neurosciences and (by courtesy) Neurology, Stanford University (2012 - Present)

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