Susan Dorsey, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor, PTSS
Chair, Department of Pain and Translational Symptom Science
Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine
Address: 727A
Phone Number: 410-706-7250
Fax Number: 410-706-5427


  • Post-doctoral Training; Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, Maryland
  • PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
  • MS, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
  • BS, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, West Virginia


Funded Grants and Contracts, Active, PI

R01NR015472-A1 Dorsey and Traub (MPI)
NIH/NINR 08/04/2015 - 05/31/2020
$2,853,727 Role - MPI
Mechanisms Underlying Comorbid Pain Conditions in a Clinically Relevant Model
The goal of this project is to gain mechanistic insight into overlapping, or comorbid, pain conditions in a rodent model of visceral pain.
P30NR014129 Dorsey/Faden/Greenspan (MPI)
NIH/NINR 09/27/2012 - 06/31/2017
$2,400,000 Role - MPI
Center for the Genomics of Pain
The goal of the Center is to facilitate translational and interdisciplinary genomics and pain research on the UMB Campus.
R01 NR013601 Dorsey/Faden (MPI)
NIH/NINR 04/01/2012 - 03/31/2017
$3,541,219 Role - MPI
Spinal Mechanisms Underlying SCI-Induced Pain: Implications for Targeted Therapy
The purpose of this study is to examine whether trkB.T1 represents a therapeutic target for improving locomotor function and reducing pain in spinal cord injury.
R01NR012686 Dorsey and Sweatt (MPI)
NIH/NINR 09/28/2010-07/31/2016 (NCE)
$3,695,847 Role - MPI
Epigenetic modifications of BDNF and trkB genes underlie pain plasticity
The purpose of this study is to examine the role for epigenetic modification of BDNF and trkB in the persistence of chronic pain/central sensitization. Aim 3 will examine the epigenome.

Funded Grants and Contracts, Active, Co-Investigator

BX002034 Bever (PI)
DHHS/VA 10/01/2013 - 09/30/2017
$648,000 Role - co-I
BDNF agonist treatment in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis
The goal of this project is to understand whether BDNF-mediated trkB signaling contributes to EAE.
R01NR013932 Starkweather (PI)
NIH/NINR 08/20/2013 – 06/30/2016
$1,265,500 Role – co-I
Pain Sensitivity in Low Back Pain
The goal for this study is to determine genomic mechanisms underlying chronic low back pain.
R01HL088120 Chang (PI)
NIH/NHLBI 04/01/2013 – 03/31/2018
$1,250,000 Role – co-I
Genetic and Functional Analysis of Hypertension Susceptibility Genes
This project aims to elucidate genes associated with HTN using high throughput sequencing of RNA. 

Funded Training Grants and Contracts, Active, Sponsor

F31NR014986 Griffioen (PI)
NIH/NINR 09/01/2014 - 08/31/2017
$125,000 Role - co-sponsor
Efficacy of Acute Pain Management on Chronic Pain Following Lower Extremity Trauma
Ms. Griffioen is a PhD Student. The goal for this project is to examine what variables associated with acute pain management efficacy predicts the transition from acute to chronic pain in the trauma population.
F32NR014753 Wickersham (PI)
NIH/NINR 12/01/2013 – 08/31/2016
$160,000 Role – co-sponsor
Genetic, clinical and biological correlates of EGFR inhibitor-related rash
Dr. Wickersham is a post-doctoral fellow. The goal for this project is to understand why some, but not all, cancer patients taking oral targeted therapies develop a painful, debilitating rash.

Forthcoming Publication

Journal of Neuroscience (JN-RM-3353-16). Paper title: Truncated TrkB.T1-mediated astrocyte dysfunction contributes to impaired motor function and neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. Table 1: list of differentially expressed genes in trkB.T1 KO versus trkB.T1 WT astrocytes‌.

Recent Publications

  • Starkweather AR, Lyon DE, Kinser P, Heineman A, Sturgill JL, Deng X, Siangphoe U, Elswick R, Greenspan J and Dorsey SG (2016). Comparison of low back pain recovery and persistence: A descriptive study of characteristics of pain onset. Biological Research for Nursing, Feb16. PMID: 26883808; Impact factor = 1.4
  • Starkweather AR, Heiniman A, Storey S, Rubia G, Lyon DE, Greenspan J and Dorsey SG (2016).  Methods to measure peripheral and central sensitization using quantitative sensory testing: A focus on individuals with low back pain. Appl Nurs Res, Feb29, 237-241. PMID: 26856520; Impact factor = 0.733
  • Wu J, Zhao Z, Zhu X, Renn CL, Dorsey SG and Faden AI (2016). Cell cycle inhibition limits development and maintenance of neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury. PAIN, 157, 488-503. PMID: 26797506; Impact factor = 5.2
  • Starkweather AR, Ramesh R, Lyon D, Siangphorn U, Deng X, Strugill J, Heineman A, Elswick R, Dorsey SG and Greenspan J (2016). Acute low back pain: Differential somatosensory function and gene expression compared to healthy no pain controls. Clinical Journal of Pain, Jan 5. PMID: 26736025; Impact factor = 2.71
  • Griffioen MA, Johantgen M, Von Rueden K, Greenspan JD, Dorsey SG and Renn CL (2015). Characteristics of patients with lower extremity trauma by improved and not improved pain during hospitalization: A pilot study. Pain Management Nursing, Nov 3. PMID: 26545732; Impact factor = 1.5
  • Sabirzhanov B, Stoica B, Zhao Z, Loane D, Wu J, Dorsey SG and Faden A (2015). miR-711 up-regulation induces neuronal cell death after traumatic brain injury. Cell Death and Differentiation, Oct 16. PMID: 26470728; Impact factor = 8.2
  • Binda D, Cavaletti G, Cornblath DR, Merkies IS and the CI-PeriNomS study group (2015). Rasch-Transformed Total Neuropathy Score clinical version (RT-NTSc(©)) in patients with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 20, 328-332. PMID: 26306547; Impact factor = 2.8
  • Colaguiri B, Schenk LA, Kessler MD, Dorsey SG and Colloca L (2015). The placebo effect: From concepts to genes. Neuroscience, 307, 171-190. PMID: 26272535; Impact factor = 3.3
  • Redeker NS, Anderson R, Bakken S, Corwin E, Docherty S, Dorsey SG, Heitkemper M, McCloskey DJ, Moore S, Pullen C, Rapkin B, Schiffman R, Waldrop-Valverde D and Grady P (2015). Advancing symptom science through use of common data elements. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47, 379-388. PMID: 26250061; Impact factor = 1.6
  • Conley YP, Heitkemper M, McCarthy D, Anderson CM, Corwin EJ, Daack-Hirsch S, Dorsey SG, Gregory KE, Groer MW, Henly SJ, Landers T, Lyon DE, Taylor JY and Voss J (2015). Educating future nurse scientists: Recommendations for integrating OMICS content in PhD programs. Nursing Outlook, 63, 417-427. PMID: 26123776; Impact factor = 1.6
  • Klinedinst NJ, Resnick B, Yerges-Armstrong L and Dorsey SG (2015). The interplay of behavior, pain and genetics with depressive symptoms in the elderly. Gerontologist, Jun; 55 Suppl 1: S67-77. PMID: 26055783; Impact factor = 3.2
  • Pressler SJ, Titler M, Koelling T, Riley PL, Jung M, Hoyland-Domenico L, Ronis DL, Smith DG, Leske B, Dorsey SG and Giordani B (2015). Nurse enhanced cognitive training increases serum Brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and improves working memory in heart failure. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 21, 630-641. PMID: 25982826; Impact factor = 3.1
  • Grimm PR, Lazo-Fernandez Y, Delpire E, Wall SM, Dorsey SG, Weinman EJ, Coleman R, Wade JB and Welling PA (2015). Integrated compensatory network is activated in the absence of NCC phosphorylation. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 125, 2136-2150. PMID: 25893600; Impact factor = 13.2
  • Resnick B, Klinedinst NJ, Yerges-Armstrong L, Choi EY and Dorsey SG (2015). The impact of genetics on physical resilience and successful aging. Journal of Aging and Health, 27, 1084-1104. PMID: 25818147; Impact factor = 1.5
  • Griffioen MA, Dernetz VH, Yang GS, Griffith KA, Dorsey SG and Renn CL (2015). Evaluation of dynamic weight bearing for measuring nonevoked inflammatory hyperalgesia in mice. Nursing Research, 64, 81-87. PMID: 25738619; Impact factor = 1.4
  • Watson AJ, Henson K, Dorsey SG and Frank MG (2015). The truncated trkB receptor influences mammalian sleep. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 308, R199-207. PMID: 255025751; Impact factor = 3.1
  • Traub RJ, Cao D-Y, Karpowicz J, Pandya S, Ji Y, Dorsey SG and Dessem D (2014). A clinically relevant animal model of temporomandibular disorder and irritable bowel syndrome comorbidity. J Pain, 15, 956-966. PMID: 24981128; Impact factor = 4.0
  • Dorsey SG, Schiffman R, Redeker N, Heitkemper M, McCloskey DJ, Weglicki L, Grady PA and the NINR Center Directors (2014). NINR Centers of Excellence: A logic model for sustainability, leveraging resources and collaboration to accelerate cross-disciplinary science. Nursing Outlook, 62, 384-393. PMID: 25085328; Impact factor = 1.6
  • Sabirzhanov B, Zhao Z, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, Wu Junfang, Borroto C, Dorsey SG and Faden AI (2014). Down-regulation of miR-23a and miR-27a following experimental traumatic brain injury induces neuronal cell death through activation of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. J Neuroscience, 34, 10055-10071. PMID: 25057207; Impact factor = 6.3
  • Liu W-J, Bhalla K, Anders L, Devarakonda S, Dewi R, Buckley S, Hwang, B-J, Polster BM, Dorsey SG, Sun Y, Sicinski P and Girnun GD (2014). Cyclin D1 represses gluconeogenesis via inhibition of the transcriptional coactivator PGC1alpha. Diabetes, 63, 3266-3278. PMID: 24947365; Impact factor = 8.3
  • Bao T, Goloubeva O, Pelser C, Porter N, Primrose J, Hester L, Sadowska M, Lapidus R, Medeiros M, Lao L, Dorsey SG and Badros A (2014). A pilot study of acupuncture in treating bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy in multiple myeloma patients. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 13, 396-404. PMID: 24867959; Impact factor = 2.4
  • Quartu M, Carozzi V, Dorsey SG, Serra MP, Poddighe L, Picci C, Boi M, Del Fiacco M, Chiorazzi A, Renn CL, Cavaletti G and Marmiroli P (2014). Bortezomib treatment produces nocifensive behavior and changes in the expression of TRPV1, CGRP and Substance P in the rat DRG, spinal cord and sciatic nerve. Biomed Research International: Toxicology, 180428. PMID: 24877063; Impact factor = 1.6
  • Griffith KA, Dorsey SG, Renn CL, Zhu S, Johantgen M et al (2014). Correspondence between neurophysiological and clinical measurements of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: secondary analysis of data from the CI-PeriNoms study. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 19, 127-135. PMID: 24814100; Impact factor = 2.8
  • Kiris E, Want T, Yanpallewar S, Dorsey SG, Becker J, Bavari S, Palko ME, Coppola V and Tessarollo L (2014). TrkA in vivo function is negatively regulated by ubiquitination. J Neurosci, 34, 4090-4098. PMID: 24623787; Impact factor = 6.3
  • Murphy LS, Oros MT and Dorsey SG (2014). The Baltimore buprenorphine initiative: understanding the role of buprenorphine in addressing heroin addiction in an urban-based community. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 25, 16-25. PMID: 24613946; Impact factor = 0.3
  • Alberti P, Rossi E, Cornblath D, Merkies I, Postma T et al. and the CI-PeriNomS study group (2014). Physician-assessed and patient-reported outcomes measures in chemotherapy-induced sensory peripheral neurotoxicity: two sides of the same coin. Annals of Oncology, 25, 257-264. PMID: 24256846; Impact factor = 7.0
  • Griffith K, Couture DJ, Zhu S, Pandya N, Johantgen ME, Cavaletti G, Davenport JM, Tanguay LJ, Choflet A, Milliron T, Glass E, Gambill N, Renn CL and Dorsey SG (2013). Evaluation of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy using current perception threshold and clinical evaluations. Supportive Care in Cancer, 22, 1161-1169. PMID: 24362842; Impact factor = 2.4
  • Carozzi V, Renn CL, Bardini M, Grazia F, Chiorazzi A, Meregalli C, Oggioni N, Shanks K, Quartu M, Serra MP, Sala B, Cavaletti G and Dorsey SG (2013). Bortezomib-induced painful peripheral neuropathy: an electrophysiological, behavioral, morphological and mechanistic study in the mouse. PLoS ONE, Sep. 12, 8(9): e72995. PMID: 24069168; Impact factor = 3.2
  • Alaish SM, Timmons J, Smith A, Buzza M, Murphy E, Zhao A, Turner DJ, Shea-Donahue T, Nataro JP, Antalis T, Cross A and Dorsey SG (2013). Candidate genes for limiting cholestatic intestinal injury identified by gene expression profiling. Physiological Reports, 1, e00073. PMID: 24179676; Impact factor = not available
  • Wu J, Renn CL, Faden AI and Dorsey SG (2013). TrkB.T1 contributes to neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury through regulation of cell cycle pathways. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 12447-12463. PMID: 23884949; Impact factor = 6.3
  • Binda D, Vanhoutte EK, Cavaletti G, Cornblath DR, Tjeerd J et al. on behalf of the CI-PeriNomS study group (2013). Rasch-built Overall Disability Scale for patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN-R-ODS). European Journal of Cancer, 49, 2910-2918. PMID: 23668917; Impact factor = 5.4
  • Resnick B, Klinedinst J, Dorsey S, Holtzman L and Abuelhiga L (2013). Volunteer behavior and factors that influence volunteering among residents in continuing care retirement communities. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 27, 161-176. PMID: not available; Impact factor = not available
  • Bao T, Lao, L, Medeiros M, Zhang R, Dorsey SG and Badros A (2012). Improvement of painful bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy following acupuncture treatment in a case series of multiple myeloma patients. Medical Acupuncture, 24, 181-187. PMID: not available; Impact factor = not available
  • Cavaletti G, Cornblath D, Merkies I, Postma T, Rossi E et al and the CI-PERINOMS Study Group (2012). The chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy outcome measures standardization (CI-PeriNomS) study: from consensus to the first validity and reliability findings. Annals of Oncology, 24, 454-462. PMID: 22910842; Impact factor = 7.0
  • Wang X, Lehky TJ, Brell JM and Dorsey SG (2012). Discovering cytokines as targets for chemotherapy-induced painful peripheral neuropathy. Cytokine 59, 3-9 PMID: 22537849; Impact factor = 2.7
  • Khairallah RJ, Shi G, Sbranna F, Prosser BL, Borroto C, Mazaitis MJ, Hoffman EP, Mahurkar A, Sachs F, Sun Y, Chen Y-W, Raiteri R, Lederer WJ, Dorsey SG and Ward CW (2012). Microtubules underlie dysfunction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Science Signaling Aug 7; 5(236), ra56. PMID: 22871609; Impact factor = 6.3
  • Cavaletti G and the CI-PERINOMS Study Group (2012). The chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy outcome measures standardization (CI-Perinoms) Study: An answer to the unsettled question of drug-related neuropathy assessment in cancer patients. Eur Assoc of Neurooncol Mag, 2, 37-40. PMID: not available; Impact factor = not available
  • Dorsey SG, Lovering RM, Renn CL, Leitch CC, Liu X, Tallon LJ, Sadzewicz LD, Pratap A, Ott S, Sengamalay N, Jones KM, Barrick C, Fulgenzi G, Becker J, Voelker K, Talmadge R, Harvey BK, Wyatt RM, Vernon-Pitts E, Zhang C, Shokat K, Fraser-Liggett C, Balice-Gordon RJ, Tessarollo L, Ward CW (2012). Genetic deletion of trkB.T1 increases neuromuscular function. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 302, C141-C153. PMID: 21865582; Impact factor = 3.8
  • Mei Y., Liao J., Shen J., Yu L., Liu B., Liu L., Li R., Ji L., Dorsey S.G., Jiang Z., Katz R.L., Wang J-Y, & Jiang F. (2012). Small nucleolar RNA 42 acts as an oncogene in lung tumorigenesis. Oncogene, 31, 2794-2804. PMID: 21986946; Impact factor = 8.5
  • Renn CL, Leitch C, Lessans S, Rhee P, McGuire W, Smith B, Traub R and Dorsey SG (2011). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor modulates antiretroviral-induced mechanical allodynia in the mouse. Journal of Neuroscience Research89, 1551-1565. PMID: 21647939; Impact factor = 2.6
  • Ayala VI, Teijaro JR, Farber DL, Dorsey SG and Carbonetti NH (2011). Bordetella pertussis infection exacerbates influenza virus through pertussis toxin activity. PLoS ONE, Apr 20; 6(4):e19016. PMID: 21533103; Impact factor = 3.2
  • Renn CL, Carozzi VA, Rhee P, Gallop D, Dorsey SG and Cavaletti G (2011). Multimodal assessment of painful peripheral neuropathy induced by chronic oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in mice. Molecular Pain Apr 26; 7:29. PMID: 21521528; Impact factor = 3.7
  • Resnick B, Galik E, Dorsey SG, Scheve A and Gutkin S (2011). Reliability and validity testing of the Physical Resilience Measure. Gerontologist, 51(5): 643-652. PMID: 21402647; Impact factor = 3.2
  • Renn CL and Dorsey SG (2011). From mouse to man: The efficacy of animal models of human disease in genetic and genomic research. Annu Rev Nurs Res, 29, 99-112. PMID: 22891500; Impact factor = not available

Primary Teaching Areas

Bioinformatics, Cancer Pain, Pain and Signaling Mechanisms, Theory and Conceptualization of Nursing Science, Microarray Technology and Analysis

Academic & Professional Activities

  • November 2013:  Member, 2014/01 ZRG1 OTC-K (55) R NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program (SI2)
  • October 2013:  Member, 2014/01 ZNR1 REV-W (11) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) CSR study section
  • June 2013: Member, 2013/10 ZCA1 RPRB-C(01)P P01 NCI reviews June 14-15, 2013
  • January 2013: Member, CSR SEP/SRG 2013/05 ZRG1 SBIB-V (40) P01 NIGMS reviews
  • January 2013: Member, ZRG-1-MOSS-C56 DP2 Neuroscience NIH Director’s New Innovator Award program, Phase I
  • December 2012: Sigma Theta Tau International Reviewer reviews
  • February 2012: Member, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2012/01 NRRC (53), NINR, National Institutes of Health
  • October 2011: Member, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2012/01 ZNR1 REV-W (09), NINR, National Institutes of Health
  • October 2011: Member, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2012/01 NRRC (52), NINR, National Institutes of Health
  • October 2011: Member, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2012/01 ZNR1 REV-W (08), T-32 Reviews, NINR, National Institutes of Health
  • June 2011: Member, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2011/10 NRRC (51), NINR, National Institutes of Health
  • March 2011: Mail Grant Reviewer, USAMRMC and the American Institute of Biological Sciences
  • 2011-Present: Member, Cancer Biology T32 Steering Committee
  • June 2010: Member, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2010/10 NRRC (48), NINR, National Institutes of Health
  • June 2010-June 2014: Permanent Member Nursing and Related Clinical Science (NRCS-B) Study Section, National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review
  • 2010-Present: Director, Developing Program in Cancer Pain, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center
  • 2010–Present: Member, Research Council, Greenebaum Cancer Center, School of Medicine
  • 2010-2012: Member, University of Maryland School of Nursing Appointment, Promotion and Tenure (APT) Committee
  • 2008-2012: Member, American Cancer Society Institutional Review Group Study Section
  • 2007-Present: Faculty Mentor, University of Maryland Post-Doc Network
  • 2004-Present: Member, University of Maryland School of Nursing Research Advisory Council

Reviewer for the Following Journals

European Journal of Neuroscience, Hormones and Behavior, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Nursing Outlook, Nursing Research, Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, PLoS ONE, Spinal CordJournal of NeuroscienceExperimental NeurologySupportive Care in Cancer,Biological Research in NursingCancer NursingLung CancerResearch in Nursing and HealthBrain ResearchNeurobiology of Disease, Journal of Neuroscience Research