Pain and Neuroinflammation Imaging Lab

Angelica Sandstrom, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MGH/HST Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

I received my PhD degree in February 2021, under the supervision of Professor Eva Kosek in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. My PhD thesis consists of five research papers, in which I used multimodal neuroimaging techniques such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to investigate the role of cerebral mechanisms of pain processing and inflammation in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia (FM) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As the prevalence of comorbid FM is inexplicably high in RA patients, my PhD and recent work have altogether focused on advancing our understanding of the mechanisms involved in both nociplastic (e.g., FM) and nociceptive (e.g., RA) pain, to ultimately understand the manifestation of nociplastic pain, and in the long run, to improve treatment outcomes for affected patients. To the present date, I have published research papers in high-impact peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Clinical Investigation, PAIN and Brain, Behavior and Immunity.  

In Professor Marco Loggia’s lab, I am advancing my neuroimaging methodological skills through the use of state-of-the art multimodal neuroimaging techniques combining PET, MRI and 7T magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in collaboration with Professor Eva Ratai. This world-class training has the potential to enrich my ability to transform clinical research as it allows for assessing brain mechanisms in human chronic pain from multiple perspectives, in a manner that cannot be achieved through a single modality alone.