Pain Research at Swedish


The Pain Research Department is part of the Clinical Research Division of Swedish and works in association with the Swedish Pain and Headache Center. The Pain Research Department provides support and assistance—such as clinical coordination, data management and regulatory support—to all Swedish-affiliated investigators conducting pain and side-effect research.

Our philosophy is to ensure that Swedish continues to offer the best possible care by pursuing new innovations in pain management and making investigational pain therapies available to patients.

The department's research nurses are experienced in pain management, oncology, HIV, home health/hospice, infusion and palliative care. They have more than eight years of experience in the management of research protocols sponsored by the federal government (National Institutes of Health), pharmaceutical and device companies regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and other funding sources.

Research studies

Click here to see a list of current pain-related research studies being conducted at Swedish. Following is a partial list of studies that have recently been completed:

Cancer-pain management:

  • Why some cancer patients don't follow directions for pain medications
  • A comparison of two long-acting morphine types
  • Pain medications placed just under the skin
  • Pain medication given in spinal fluid (intrathecally)
  • Pain patches
  • Pain medications that absorb through mucous membrane

Department researchers:

Gordon Irving, M.D. - Director, Pain Services, Swedish Medical Center; clinical associate professor, University of Washington Medical School

Dr. Irving is the former medical director and associate professor at the University of Texas Center for Pain Medicine at Houston. He is a well-known speaker and educator in the area of pain management and has participated in numerous research projects.

Thomas Yang, M.D. -  Anesthesiologist, Swedish Pain and Headache Center

Dr. Yang is an anesthesiologist who specializes in minimally invasive spinal therapies, including implantable devices. He is fellowship-trained in pain management and has extensive experience in procedures related to pain treatment. He is proficient in the management of acute, chronic and cancer pain.

Cong Yu, M.D. - Anesthesiologist, Swedish Pain and Headache Center

Dr. Yu is a fellowship-trained pain anesthesiologist who specializes in implantable devices. He was a researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for several years and has been peer-reviewed in many publications. He maintains an active interest in clinical research.

For more information about pain research at Swedish, contact Reda Tipton, research project coordinator, 206-386-3806.