Chart with complex symptom (chronic pain), biomarker discovery/omics mechanisms (genomics, proteomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, other omics), phenotypic characterization (resilience, motivation, capability, sex differences, psychosocial factors), and clinical application (exercise and physical activity as self-management strategies) in a loop


The purpose of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Omics Associated with Self-Management Interventions for Symptoms (OASIS) Center is to combine rigorous phenotyping of preclinical models and patients in chronic pain with cutting-edge omics methods. This approach will advance our understanding of how individual differences influence resilience, motivation, and capability to engage in self-management interventions, acknowledging that other factors such as psychosocial, environmental, and sex differences may moderate or mediate these relationships. Omics also may be mechanistically linked to response to treatment.


We chose to focus the work of the OASIS Center on physical activity and exercise self-management approaches since they are often effective in managing chronic pain. Our goal is not to test the efficacy of physical activity on chronic pain reduction in experimental versus control conditions; we know these strategies work. Instead, we want to understand the omics mechanisms that will begin to inform us about the relationships that underlie the resilience, motivation, and capability to engage in, and the response of the individuals to, physical activity. We assert that our translational mechanism-based approach will accelerate the science of self-management of symptoms to produce high impact results that will move the field forward.

The OASIS Center aims to:

  1. advance interdisciplinary science of self-management of chronic pain investigating the degree to which omics differences, psychosocial factors, gender and the environment can explain one’s resilience, motivation, capability, and response to exercise/physical activity self-management to reduce chronic pain
  2. expand the infrastructure capacity at UMB to conduct rigorously designed interdisciplinary omics studies of self-management strategies to manage symptoms—the focus will be on chronic pain
  3. plan for, and actively pursue, intramural (SON, UMB) and extramural federal and foundation funding to enhance sustainability for Center research activities after NINR P30 Center funding has ended. Completion of our sustainability plan requires the negotiation of key internal and external collaborations.


Our interdisciplinary team at the UMB nursing, medical, pharmacy, and dental schools is uniquely poised to advance the science of self-management of symptoms.

Preclinical and clinical pilot studies leverage OASIS Center resources and cores in the area of science focus.