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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Pain Researcher, Former NIDCR Branch Chief Dubner Mourned

Dr. Dubner

Dr. Ronald Dubner

Former NIH intramural investigator Dr. Ronald Dubner died on Jan. 22 in Rockville, Md. He was 88 years old.

A pioneer in pain research, Dubner made discoveries over four decades that significantly enhanced knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of acute and chronic pain. He worked at the National Institute of Dental Research (now known as the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) for 36 years, beginning as an intern in 1959 before becoming a research scientist, section chief, and then lab chief with the Neurobiology and Anesthesiology Branch. He then left NIH in 1995 to become professor and chair of the department of neural and pain sciences at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. He was editor in chief of the journal PAIN for 12 years.

Those who worked with him at NIDR remarked on his strong leadership, passion for his work and willingness to offer support and advice to colleagues. Beyond his own research on pain, he is remembered for mentoring a host of scientists who have continued to explore and expand on his findings.

Dubner was born in Brooklyn, N.Y, in 1934 and received his B.A and D.D.S from Columbia University. In 1964, he completed a Ph.D. in physiology at the University of Michigan. He is survived by his wife, three children and five grandchildren.—Michael Somes

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