Skip to main content

VUMC symposium to explore risks, impact of opioids

Jul. 7, 2016, 8:24 AM

The risks of taking opioids during pregnancy or to manage chronic pain, and the impact this frequently prescribed class of pain relievers has on the adolescent brain will be discussed Wednesday, July 13, during a “bedside-to-bench” symposium at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Organized three to four times a year and sponsored by the Vanderbilt Program in Molecular Medicine, the event is designed to show graduate students and postdoctoral fellows engaged in bench research the impact their work can have on the lives of patients.

The symposium, which is open to the Vanderbilt community, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the 1220 lecture hall in Medical Research Building III, adjacent to VUMC and between Stevenson Center and Medical Center North.

Speakers and their topics are:

  • Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, who will discuss the molecular pharmacology and physiology of opioids;
  • Peter Martin, M.D., professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, whose topic is “Opioid Use during Pregnancy: the Magnitude of the Problem and Clinical Pharmacologic Strategies for Management;”
  • Margaret Benningfield, M.D., MSCI, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, who will discuss risk and reward associated with opioid use in adolescents;
  • Reid Finlayson, M.D., associate professor of Clinical Psychiatry, whose topic is management options for opioid use disorder; and
  • Stephen Bruehl, Ph.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology, whose talk is entitled, “Opioid Risks in Chronic Pain Management: A Role for Precision Medicine?”

For more information, contact Mark de Caestecker, MBBS, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Program in Molecular Medicine, at 615-343-2844 or

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Vanderbilt Medicine
VUMC Voice