Researcher

Dr Saurab Sharma

My Expertise

My vision is to make pain care equitable for all people worldwide, irrespective of their socio-cultural and economic positioning. My expertise includes the contributions of sociocultural factors in healthcare, particularly in pain management. My current research focuses on strengthening health systems for improving pain care for underserved populations nationally and internationally. I envision achieving these aims through national and international collaborations with multidisciplinary stakeholders. One such initiative is the Consortium of Low Back Pain for Low- and Middle-Income Countries; Sharma, S., & McAuley, J. H. (2022). Low Back Pain in Low-and Middle-Income Countries, Part 1: The Problem. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy52(5), 233-235. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35536248/.

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Pain, Health equity, Social determinants of health, Clinical sciences, Allied health and rehabilitation science, Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy

Biography

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow supported by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) John J. Bonica Fellowship. I completed his PhD at the University of Otago in 2020, New Zealand which was marked as the Thesis of Exceptional Quality. I also received the University of Otago the Most Promising Pain Researcher Award in 2021 and the UNSW Health Sciences Early Career Researcher of the Year Award in 2022. 

I have published 90...view more

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow supported by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) John J. Bonica Fellowship. I completed his PhD at the University of Otago in 2020, New Zealand which was marked as the Thesis of Exceptional Quality. I also received the University of Otago the Most Promising Pain Researcher Award in 2021 and the UNSW Health Sciences Early Career Researcher of the Year Award in 2022. 

I have published 90 peer-reviewed papers and have received research funding worth > AUD 1.5M. I am one of the Commissioners for the Lancet Commission on Osteoarthritis. I have also contributed to the World Health Organisation initiatives to develop rehabilitation interventions for osteoarthritis. I have co-authored a book chapter on pain. I am also an active member of three IASP committees: I serve as the Secretary for the Pain, Mind and Movement Special Interest Group and the founding member of the Early Career Network Taskforce and the Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy. I am also a Taskforce Member for two IASP Global Years 2022 and 2023. I have presented invited talks at premier conferences including the World Pain Congresses, World Physiotherapy Congresses, and Osteoarthritis Research Society International Conference. 

I aim to improve the lives of people with pain and other long-term conditions by developing culturally appropriate, inexpensive, effective, and safe interventions. My current research focuses on understanding the role of culture in chronic pain, developing global strategies to improve musculoskeletal health, developing and testing interventions for complex pain conditions, and developing interventions for culturally and linguistically diverse communities and low-resourced settings/countries. 

I am currently leading Consortium for Low Back Pain in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), learn more, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35536248/. I am also passionate to improve research and pain care in LMICs. This led to a Joint Editorial in 12 international physiotherapy journals which support research in LMICs (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2023.08.013). 


My Grants

2021                         Co-Investigator, Research Grant from the International Association for the Study of Pain to develop pain education resources and train physiotherapists on pain in Nepal, July 2021 [funding: US$ 9900]

2020 - 2022              Fellowship, John J. Bonica Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), 31st July, 2020 [funding: US$ 100,000]

2020                         University of Otago Publishing Bursary, February – April 2020 [funding: NZ$ 6750]

2019                         Grant, Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Travel Grant to attend Back and Neck Pain Forum to present a paper, 3 – 6 July 2019 [NZ$ 1000 toward travel support and registration]

2019                         Scholarship, North American Pain School (NAPS) Scholarship to attend Pain Training in Montebello, Quebec, Canada; 23 – 28 June 2019 [Can$ 1500]

2018 – 2020             Research Grant(s), Global Challenge Research Funds (x2) from the University of Dundee to collaborate on chronic pain and neuropathic pain research in Nepal [GBP 21,500]

2019                         Travel grant from Pain, Mind, and Movement Special Interest Group of International Association for the Study of Pain to attend and present at Pain Science in Motion Conference on 1 – 2 June 2019, in Savona, Italy [US$ 1000]

2019                         Grant, Pain@Otago (Pain Research theme of University of Otago) Conference travel grant, 7th March 2019 [NZ$1000]

2019                         Conference travel grant from University of Otago to present at the World Physiotherapy Conference, 10 – 13 May 2019 [NZ$ 2000]

2018                         Financial award, International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) to attend World Pain Congress in Boston, the USA; 12 – 16 September 2018 [US$ 1,600 and registration waiver]

2017                         Bursary, World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) to attend and present papers at World Physical Therapy Congress 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa; 2 – 4 July 2017 [US$ 950 and registration waiver].

2017                         Scholarship, International Federation of Physiotherapy Regulator Authorities (INPTRA) to deliver a talk at INPTRA conference; 30th June and 1st July 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa [US$ 2,500 and registration waiver].

2017 – 2020             The University of Otago Doctoral Research Scholarship to pursue a PhD in Medicine at the Otago Medical School, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; February 2017 to January 2020 [NZ$ 79,000 in Stipend and NZ$ 29,000 tuition fee scholarship].

2016                         Financial award, International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) to attend World Pain Congress in Yokohama, Japan; 26 – 30 September 2016 [US$ 1,000 and registration waiver]

2016                         Bursary, International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT), IFOMPT Congress in Glasgow, Scotland; 4th – 8th July 2016 [GBP 2,000 and registration waiver]

2015 – 2019             Developing Countries Collaborative Research Grant, International Association for Study of Pain (IASP); July 2015 – December 2019 [US$ 15,000].

2014                         Bursary, Developing country stipend for attending Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad, India, September 2014.


My Qualifications

2020           PhD in Medicine (University of Otago, New Zealand)

2013          Master of Physiotherapy, Specialisation in Musculoskeletal conditions (Manipal University, India)

2008          Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangaluru, India)


My Awards

Year 

Award

2022 Early Career Researcher of the Year 2022, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, UNSW
2022 Paper of the Month, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, UNSW

2021

Most Promising Emerging Pain Researcher Award from Pain Research Theme at the University of Otago, New Zealand judged by an independent international review team, 9th November 2021.

2020

John J Bonica Postdoctoral Fellowship, International Association for the Study of Pain, Washington DC, USA [US$ 100,000].

2020

Exceptional PhD Thesis Award for “Improving pain assessment, management, and research in low-income countries: An example of Nepal”, at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

2015  

First Prize, Poster Presentation at Pain Adelaide Conference, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia, 29 March 2015 [Aus$ 500].

 

                       

                       

                      


My Research Activities

As CIA, I led a research program on EQUIP-ALL (Equitable Pain Care - Globally). The program is an outcome of research during and prior to my PhD which was supported by the International Association for the Study of Pain Developing Countries Collaborative Research Grant. I am currently leading an international project to advance low back pain care in low- and middle-income countries by developing Consortium for Low Back Pain in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) with >65 members from 35 LMICs. The first paper in the series can be found here (or https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35536248/).


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

I supervise PhD, Masters and Honours students undertaking research in the area of pain. 

I am available to supervise Higher Degree Research Candidates in the area of:

  1. Pain in culturally and linguistically diverse populations 
  2. Pain around the world (see more here, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35536248/)
  3. Assessment and management of chronic pain conditions
  4. Co-designing interventions
  5. Cross-cultural adaptation of pain interventions 

Students who completed their PhD:


Currently supervising

PhD:

  1. Yannick Gilanyi, University of Sydney, Australia
  2. Rinkle Malani, MGM Institute of Health Sciences, India 

MPhil:

Ritu Basnet, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Masters: 

Riju Maharjan, Mahidol University, Thailand

 

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