August 8, 2023

Dr. Juan Hincapie-Castillo

Dr. Juan Hincapie-Castillo

Juan Hincapie-Castillo, PharmD, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is one of 12 experts in pain science and care recently named as fellows of the Mayday Fund’s Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship: Communicating Science & Improving Care.

The fellowship provides a three-day communication workshop in Washington, D.C., for clinicians and researchers based in the United States or Canada who are passionate about improving pain care and who are dedicated to building communications skills and strategies aimed to reduce human suffering from acute and chronic pain. Fellows carry a broad range of expertise in fields including anesthesiology, nursing, pediatric care and psychology.

Hincapie-Castillo focuses his research at the intersection of legal epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology by leveraging large real-world data to evaluate and promote evidence-based policymaking. His primary focus is on improving prescribing policies and the provision of equitable pain management and safe psychotropic medication use.

He is also president of the board of directors for the National Pain Advocacy Center, a nonprofit alliance of clinicians, scientists, public health experts, and people with lived experience, working to advance the health and human rights of people living with pain.

“I’ve dedicated my research and advocacy efforts to help improve pain management and the care of people with lived experience of pain,” said Hincapie-Castillo. “I am excited to be part of this interdisciplinary cohort of experts and to learn additional strategies to continue advocating for equitable pain care in our society.”

“This new cohort of fellows have dedicated their careers to understanding, managing, and alleviating pain and suffering for people across North America,” said Christina Spellman, the Mayday Fund’s executive director. “The Mayday Fellowship will increase their strategic communications skills so that they can make an even greater difference in advancing the study of pain and in advocating for the best multidisciplinary approaches to address and reduce it.”

During the workshop in Washington, D.C., to be held Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, fellows will learn skills to effectively communicate and advocate for the translation of scientific research and evidence-based best practices in pain care and management. Following the workshop, the fellows will receive individualized, follow-up coaching to help them pursue their strategic advocacy goals.

The new class of fellows will join more than 95 experts from the earlier classes of The Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship, which operated from 2004 through 2015 and relaunched in 2018.

“The Mayday Fund Board is pleased to welcome the newest class of Fellows,” said Caroline N. Sidnam, a Mayday Fund board member. “These top leaders in the field of pain connect the dots between lived experience, bench-to-bedside research, and advocacy for the equitable treatment of pain. We cannot wait to see how their learnings from the Fellowship improve care and advance the public’s understanding of pain.”

The 2023 – 2024 fellows also include:

  • Staja “Star” Booker, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, University of Florida
  • Tania Di Renna, BSc, MD, FRCPC, Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, University of Toronto; Medical Director, Toronto Academic Pain Medicine Institute
  • Amy L. Drendel, DO, MS, Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin; Interim Section Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
  • Shravani Durbhakula, MD, MPH, MBA, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Deepa Kattail, MD, MHS, FAAP, Pediatric Anesthesiologist, Department of Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children; Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
  • Vani A. Mathur, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences & Institute for Neuroscience, Texas A&M University
  • Virginia McIntyre, BA, RTR, RTMR, President and Executive Director, People in Pain Network; National Advisory Committee, Pain Canada
  • Melanie Noel, PhD, RPsych, Professor, Department of Psychology, Killam Memorial Emerging Leader Chair, University of Calgary
  • Alfonso Romero-Sandoval, MD, PhD, Professor of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Melissa Santos, PhD, Division Head of Pediatric Psychology, Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Connecticut Children’s
  • Janiece Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

For more details on the fellowship, please visit 

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