Director of the Pain Research Institute
Chair of Pain Medicine, University of Liverpool
Honorary Consultant in Pain Medicine, Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Main research interests
Investigation of the roles of IgG-autoantibodies in causing chronic pain, and assessment of new immune treatments for such patients suffering from such pains. We are worldwide leading in this area of 'autoantibody pain’ research. Our focus has been on the group of unexplained, severe 'chronic primary pains' (1), particularly an uncommon pain syndrome affecting distal limbs after trauma, ‘Complex Regional Pain Syndrome’, and a common pain syndrome affecting all of the body, 'Fibromyalgia Syndrome'.
(1) Nicholas M, et al. The IASP Classification of Chronic Pain for ICD-11: Chronic Primary Pain. Pain 2019; 160(1): 28-37
I completed training in anaesthesia, pain medicine, and post-trauma immunology in Germany, USA, and UK (Oxford/UCLH) and was in 2007 appointed Consultant in Pain Medicine at the Liverpool Walton Centre. From 2008 I have worked as Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Pain Medicine at the University of Liverpool (since 2016 Reader - Associated Professor), with 50% clinical work in pain-outpatients, pain management program, and pain theatres.
My research has focused on understanding the role of the adaptive immune system in causing severe 'unexplained' chronic pain. I have first developed the concept of autoantibody-pain and the use of passive transfer models to explore this in patients, focussing with my studies on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS).
I am investigating the effects of immune-modulating treatments in these pains and have led a team that has developed novel recruitment approaches for drug trials in pain medicine.
Lewis, J. S., Kashif, M., Maan, A., Ciampi de Andrade, D., Casey, M., Moon, J. Y., . . . Goebel, A. (2023). Global series: Complex regional pain syndrome: Abstracts from the International Association for the Study of Pain Complex Regional pain syndrome sig virtual symposia 2021. PAIN Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1097/pr9.0000000000001056
Berwick, R., Barker, C., Goebel, A. (2022) The diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. Clin Med (Lond). 22(6). doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2022-0402. PMID: 36427885; PMCID: PMC9761415.
Pohóczky, K., Kun, J., Szentes, N., Aczél, T., Urbán, P., Gyenesei, A., . . . Goebel, A. (2022). Discovery of novel targets in a complex regional pain syndrome mouse model by transcriptomics: TNF and jak-stat pathways. Pharmacological Research, 182, 106347. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2022.106347
Goebel, A., Andersson, D., Helyes, Z., Clark, J. D., Dulake, D., & Svensson, C. (2022). The autoimmune aetiology of unexplained chronic pain. Autoimmunity Reviews, 21(3), 103015. doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2021.103015
Goebel, A., Krock, E., Gentry, C., Israel, M. R., Jurczak, A., Urbina, C. M., . . . Andersson, D. A. (2021). Passive transfer of fibromyalgia symptoms from patients to mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 131(13). doi:10.1172/jci144201