Susan Dorsey, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor, PTSS
Chair, Department of Pain and Translational Symptom Science
Associate 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


R01NR013932 Starkweather (PI)
NIH/NINR 08/20/2013 – 06/30/2016
$1,265,500 Role – co-I
Pain Sensitivity in 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
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. 
Reviewed on September 8, 2011; Score=10 (1%)
R01NR012686 Dorsey and Sweatt (MPI)
NIH/NINR 09/28/2010-07/31/2015
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.
1P30NR011396 Dorsey (PI)
NIH/NINR 08/07/2009-05/31/2014
UM Center for Pain Studies
The goal of the Center is to facilitate translational and interdisciplinary cancer treatment-related pain research on the UM Campus.

My laboratory focuses on the identification of cellular and molecular mechanisms of chronic pain so that new therapeutic targets can be identified to improve or ameliorate chronic pain. My most recent project, supported by funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, addresses molecular signaling and transcriptional alterations associated with neuromuscular dysfunction in muscular dystrophy.

Recent Publications

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wang X, Lehky TJ, Brell JM and Dorsey SG (2012). Discovering cytokines as targets for chemotherapy-induced painful peripheral neuropathy. Cytokine 59, 3-9
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Renn CL, Leitch CC and Dorsey SG (2009). In vivo evidence that truncated trkB.T1 participates in nociception. Molecular Pain, 29, 61.
  • Carim-Todd L, Bath K, Fulgenzi G, Yanpallewar S, Jing D, Barrick C, Becker J, Buckley H, Dorsey SG, Lee F and Tessarollo L (2009). Endogenous truncated trkB.T1 receptor regulates neuronal complexity and trkB kinase receptor function in vivo. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 678-685.
  • Dorsey, SG, Renn, CL, Carim-Todd, L, Barrick, CA, Bambrick, LL, Krueger, BK, Ward, CW and Tessarollo, T (2006). In vivo restoration of physiological levels of truncated trkBT1 receptor rescues neuronal cell death in a trisomic mouse model.  Neuron, 51, 21-28.

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