NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Bačkonja Appointed New Supervisory Physician at NCCIH

Dr. Miroslav “Misha” Bačkonja
Dr. Miroslav “Misha” Bačkonja

Dr. Miroslav “Misha” Bačkonja has been appointed supervisory physician in the Clinical Investigations Branch, NCCIH Division of Intramural Research. 

His role will include leading research projects related to assessing pain and its underlying neurobiological mechanisms. This work aims to establish models of deep phenotyping and developing of biomarkers for pain, which will translate into comprehensive profiling of individual patients with pain. Further, he will coordinate the branch’s work and its educational/training efforts. 

Bačkonja will also help further establish and expand the new NIH Intramural Research Program, the NIH Pain Research Center (located in the Clinical Center), by establishing novel models of translational pain research and medicine. 

After receiving his M.D. from the University of Zagreb School of Medicine in Croatia, Bačkonja completed both neurology residency training and a pain medicine fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He became a professor at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and its Pain Treatment/Research Center. 

Subsequently, he worked for 6 years for contract research organizations to facilitate the development and clinical evaluation of neurotherapeutics, including novel analgesics.

Bačkonja came to NIH from the University of Washington–Seattle, where he practiced academic pain medicine, conducted clinical pain research and led an NIH HEAL Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net) hub research grant award to develop new analgesics to replace opioids.

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